File photo shows firefighters and onlookers at the scene of a deadly fire that engulfed a karaoke bar in Binh Duong province, north of Ho Chi Minh City September 7, 2022. — AFP pic
HANOI, Oct 8 — Two police officers in southern Vietnam have been arrested for negligence over a karaoke bar fire that killed 32 people last month, authorities said.
Fire ripped through the three-storey entertainment venue in a dense residential neighbourhood of Thuan An city, north of commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City in early September.
Police in Binh Duong province said in an online statement posted late yesterday that an officer had been taken into custody, while a second was under house arrest.
The two are under investigation for alleged negligence, the statement said, without providing further details.
In mid-September, police arrested the bar owner, 42-year-old Le Anh Xuan.
He was expected to be held in custody for four months as an investigation continues over alleged fire regulation breaches.
Sixty people were inside the 30-room bar when the fire erupted.
It trapped customers and staff as smoke filled the staircase and blocked the emergency exit.
Firefighters initially struggled to enter the building because of the fire’s intensity and had to knock down part of a wall to get inside.
Seventeen people were injured, with many suffering broken bones after the flames forced them to jump from the roof, police said.
Authorities initially blamed an electrical short circuit for the blaze, but said the bar had met all fire safety standards in checks over the past three years. — AFP