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At least 32 people have died in a fire that broke out in a Vietnamese karaoke bar.
The An Phu Karaoke complex located near Ho Chi Minh caught fire late on Tuesday (September 6) evening, trapping partygoers and staff.
At its heights, 66 officers and 13 specialised vehicles were dispatched to the scene shortly after the alarm went off at around 9pm.
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Although the fire was controlled within the hour, eyewitnesses claim to have seen smoke and smaller blazes for more than 12 hours later.
Initial reports confirmed the death of 14 people, but further searches by rescuers discovered many more trapped bodies. This included nine victims stuck in the third-floor toilets.
A Vietnamese official stated: "The fire started on the second floor of the bar and quickly spread to the third floor, which was full of flammable material."
Of the roughly 60 people that were in the complex, Vietnam's Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper has confirmed that 32 of them – 17 men and 15 women – have lost their lives.
Many more are being treated in local hospitals for brain injury, broken bones and severe trauma.
It is believed that five victims are currently on ventilators, whilst several have extremely serious burns that are difficult to prevent from deadly infections.
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Local video sources show four terrified customers jumping from the building to save themselves from the blaze inside. They suffered several broken bones but survived.
This is the deadliest fire in a series of blazes in recent years that have killed partygoers across Southeast Asia.
In August three firefighters lost their lives as they attempted to put out a fire at a karaoke bar in the capital Hanoi. It’s thought that poor safety standards in entertainment complexes are a contributing factor in the causes of these fires.
The BBC reported that half of the 29-room, four-story building caught on fire. Many of the karaoke rooms features wooden décor and flammable decorations.
The cause of the fire is yet unknown and local police are investigating. The search for more trapped bodies has concluded.
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