HANOI (Reuters) – A fire at an apartment block in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi has killed 56 people, among them children, and injured 37, police said on Wednesday.
The fire broke out during the night in a nine-storey building, home to about 150 residents, according to the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA), which said the blaze was contained by 2 a.m. (1900 GMT).
Television images showed firefighters equipped with hoses and ladders at the scene by night, while a column of thick, dark smoke billowed from the building by day.
Several of the victims were admitted to local hospitals with multiple injuries after having jumped from their windows to escape the fire, state media said, citing Vu Hoang Phuong of Hanoi Medical University Hospital.
Police have detained the owner of the building, Nghiem Quang Minh, accusing him of violating fire-prevention regulations, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement, adding that an investigation into the case is under way.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visited the site of the blaze on Wednesday and called for the completion of anti-fire regulations at small-sized apartment buildings and in densely populated residential areas, according to a government statement.
(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen and Khanh Vu; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor, Clarence Fernandez, Martin Petty, William Maclean)