On January 31st, the Hanoi Police initiated an investigation into 6 officials in connection with the fire that occurred in a mini apartment building in Thanh Xuan District (Hanoi), resulting in the death of 56 people. The investigation is related to misconduct regarding construction regulations and fire prevention and fighting.
Investigators examining the scene where a fire broke out in a mini apartment building, causing the death of 56 people.
Among the 6 former officials being charged are those who previously worked in the construction inspection force, the Khuong Dinh Ward People’s Committee, and the Khuong Dinh Ward Police. Of these defendants, 3 have been temporarily detained, while the other 3 have been released on bail but with travel restrictions.
Prior to this, as reported by Người Lao Động newspaper, at around 23:22 on September 12th, a fire broke out in a 9-story mini apartment building located at house number 37, alley 29/70, Khuong Ha Street, trapping many people inside. Upon receiving the report, authorities mobilized 15 fire trucks and over 100 police officers to the scene, along with local residents, to extinguish the fire. By 00:15 on September 13th, the fire was essentially extinguished and over 100 trapped individuals were rescued. However, the fire resulted in the death of 56 people and injuries to 37 others.
The cause of the mini apartment building fire has been determined to be an electrical circuit failure along the power cables in the battery charging area located at the head of a scooter parked against the south wall on the 1st floor. The fire then spread to the cable area and the electric meter boxes mounted on the walls of the 1st floor and quickly spread to the surrounding areas.
The mini apartment building where the fire occurred, resulting in 56 casualties, was granted a construction permit under the signature of Dang Hong Thai, the former Vice Chairman of the Thanh Xuan District People’s Committee (retired since 2022). After obtaining the permit, the investor constructed the building with 9 stories, exceeding the permitted height by 3 floors.
In 2015, Mr. Vu Cao Minh held the position of Secretary of the Thanh Xuan District Party Committee; Mr. Nguyen Xuan Luu (currently the Director of Hanoi Department of Finance) served as the Chairman of the Thanh Xuan District People’s Committee. In October 2019, Mr. Minh retired, and Mr. Nguyen Xuan Luu was elected as Secretary of the District Party Committee and concurrently Chairman of the District People’s Committee. In March 2021, Mr. Luu was appointed as the Director of the Hanoi Department of Finance, replacing Mr. Nguyen Viet Ha, who was reassigned as Secretary of the Thanh Xuan District Party Committee.
In April 2021, Mr. Vo Dang Dung was elected as the Chairman of the Thanh Xuan District People’s Committee. In November 2022, Ms. Bui Huyen Mai, Head of the Hanoi Party Committee’s Propaganda Department, was appointed as Secretary of the Thanh Xuan District Party Committee for the 2020-2025 term, and Mr. Nguyen Viet Ha was reassigned as Secretary of the Gia Lam District Party Committee.
B.H.Thanh – Ng. Huong