At least five people were injured in a large fire that raged for about three hours at a crowded bar in Hanoi late Tuesday evening. The blaze caused the second floor of the bar to collapse.
The fire began at 11 pm at the Luxury Bar at 153 Yen Phu Street, Tay Ho District, and spread rapidly, witnesses said.
The bar has two floors, each of which covers about 500 square meters, and contains many flammable materials.
About 15 minutes before the first flames were seen, a loud explosion was heard from the second floor, a witness said.
Smoke from the blaze covered the ceiling, panicking a large number of people who were trying to get out of the bar.
There were about 400-500 people inside the bar at the time of the fire.
Over 100 firefighters and more than ten fire engines were deployed to the scene, and firemen tried to isolate the blaze, preventing it from spreading to surrounding areas.
Police officers also arrived to keep order and prevent vehicles and people from entering the area, as thousands of onlookers had already arrived, causing chaos.
Many cars, taxis and motorbikes were inside the premises of the bar at the time, so firefighters, with the help of locals, removed them from the scene.
The violent fire caused the second floor to collapse.
By 1:00 am Wednesday, more fire trucks were mobilized to the scene, as the fire had still not been put out.
At least five people were injured during the fire and were taken to a hospital for emergency aid, rescuers said, adding that one of them was in critical condition.
At about 2:00 am, the fire was brought under control, but some flames still smoldered inside the bar.
Initial investigations showed that the fire might have been caused by a short circuit on the second floor of the bar .
Police continue to investigate the cause of the fire.