32 Confirmed Dead in Vietnam Karaoke Bar Fire

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Fire at a karaoke bar in Vietnam
Firefighters use cranes to reach the fire at a karaoke bar in southern Vietnam (VN24).

The death toll from a fire at a karaoke parlor in southern Vietnam has risen to 32, according to officials on Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s blaze overtook the building’s second level, trapping customers and staff as dense smoke obstructed the emergency exit.

Many crowded onto a balcony to escape the flames, which soon engulfed the timber interior and foam mattresses used for soundproofing, while others were forced to jump from the structure.

The karaoke bar, located in a crowded residential neighborhood in Thuan An, north of Ho Chi Minh City in Binh Duong Province, was shown with plumes of smoke billowing into the air as firefighters used cranes to try to extinguish the blaze.

“We are still searching for more victims but the death toll so far is 32, and 11 people injured,” Mai Hung Dung, a senior official in Binh Duong Province, told the media.

State media reported that eight people were found dead in the toilet.

The initial cause of the fire was said to be an electrical short circuit, according to authorities, while police say the venue’s fire prevention regulations had been checked prior to the fire.