Fire safety at Vietnam karaoke bars under scrutiny following blaze


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Fire departments in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and its neighbour Dong Nai Province have so far found that 140 karaoke bars have failed to meet fire safety requirements.

Surprise inspections have begun being carried out following a deadly fire at a karaoke bar in southern Vietnam on Wednesday for which the death toll has risen to 32 according to latest reports.

The Dong Nai police said Thursday that surprise checks at 150 karaoke parlours found 50 of them falling short of safety requirements either in terms of design or equipment and that four could be shut down temporarily.

The HCMC police said on Wednesday that they had inspected around 300 parlours and found 90 of them in violation. Two of these were shut down for lack of certification on meeting fire safety requirements.

In an announcement on Thursday, the government office, citing Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, ordered cities and provinces to tighten control on karaoke parlours and suspend any that lack appropriate fire safety protocols. The office said that all karaoke parlours must have a second emergency exit, either through a balcony, the roof or stairs.

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