Fw: [NuocVIET] PHOTO: Saigon, Cha'y Lo+'n, 54 ngu+o+`i che^'t ta.i
----- Original Message -----
From: nguoi ti nan
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 12:04:36 -0800 (PST)
To: NuocViet quoc noi , SaigonHaiNgoai , Nuoc Viet
Subject: [NuocVIET] PHOTO: Saigon, Cha'y Lo+'n, 54 ngu+o+`i che^'t ta.i "Trung Ta^m Thu+o+ng Ma.i Quo^'c Te^' Saigon"
TERRORIST ATTACK in Ho Chi Minh City !?!?
TA^'N CO^NG KHU?NG BO^' ta.i Sa`i Go`n ?!?!
Smoke billows from the top of the Saigon International Trade Center in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, Vietnam on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2002. Officials and news reports said the fire at the six-story building killed at least 54 people and injured more than 100. (AP Ph! oto)
Deadly Fire in Ho Chi Minh City; 54 Die in Vietnam Building Fire
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (AP) 10/29/2002 - A massive blaze tore through a large building in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, killing at least 54 people and injuring more than 100.
Firefighters battled the inferno for hours, but inadequate equipment and intense flames and heat kept them from reaching many victims trapped inside the Saigon International Trade Center, a six-story building that housed shops, offices and a popular disco.
A wedding reception with some 500 guests was being held in the building when the fire broke out, Ho Chi Minh City Television said, and an American insurance company with offices there was conducting a training seminar for about 100 employees.
At least one unidentified foreign man was among the fatalities and six staff members of the insurance company were missing, officials said.
"There are still no clear figures of dead, missing or injured, but the loss of life could be very big," state-run Vietnam Television said.
Firefighters used ladder trucks to help some people escape from the roof but they were unable to reach at least one man who cried for help from a window because they lacked the proper equipment. Flames raged at other windows.
"What is worrying is that firefighters were not equipped with the necessary equipment to put out the fire," Vietnam Television said. "It took them more than three hours to bring the water hose inside the building, and sometimes they did not have enough water."
Smoke lingered over the crowded neighborhood Tuesday evening and much of the building remained too hot to enter. Firefighters sprayed water onto the sizzling debris, hoping temperatures would cool enough for them to go inside.
The American International Assurance Co. was conducting a training program for insurance agents when! the fire began, said a company official who identified herself only as Tien. Six staff members were missing and about 30 were injured, some seriously, she said.
"A bell rang, and then the electricity cut off," Tien said. "The fire came very fast."
The official Vietnam News Agency said at least 54 people were dead. Hospital officials said more than 100 were hospitalized, many with serious injuries - some from burns and some from jumping out of the building's windows.
Police were still investigating the cause of the deadly blaze, but suspected an electrical short circuit, VNA said.
Police also said they suspected it started in the Blue Disco, the city's most popular dance spot.
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly named Saigon, is Vietnam's southern commercial center and largest city. Ho Chi Minh City Mayor Le Thanh Hai said the fire was the city's worst in both loss of life and property damage.
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