Karaoke Bar Fire Kills 23 People

At least 23 people have died and others have been injured in a huge fire at a karaoke complex in southern Vietnam near Ho Chi Minh City.

The fire broke out on the upper floor of the establishment on Tuesday night, trapping several customers in rooms at the time.

To escape, four people jumped from the second and third floors, local media said. They were injured but survived.

Firefighters reached the scene shortly after alarms went off.

Mai Hung Dung, a top official with the ruling Communist Party in Binh Duong province, said 23 people had lost their lives and 11 others were injured in the fire, while search efforts continue.

State media reported the bodies of eight people were found in the toilets.

Officials had earlier put the death toll at 12.

Crews said the blaze took just under an hour to bring under control. Investigators are still determining the cause.

The An Phu karaoke bar, located in the Binh Duong region just north of the city, occupied a significantly sized building with 29 rooms.

About a third of the building had been on fire, local officials said.

It had several decorations and wooden decor, BBC Vietnamese reported.

This is not the first time this year a fire has broken out at a karaoke bar in Vietnam. Last month, three firefighters died as they tried to extinguish a fire at a karaoke venue in the capital Hanoi.

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