Vietnam karaoke bar fire kills at least 12

Firefighters attend to the scene of a fatal blaze at a karaoke bar in the province of Binh Duong, north of Ho Chi Minh City. 

HANOI — On Wednesday, official media said that at least 12 people died and 40 were hurt in a fire at a karaoke bar in southern Vietnam.

According to the official Vietnam News Agency, the fire broke out Tuesday night inside a bar in Binh Duong province, an industrial production area near Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the report, eleven of the injured were in critical condition. A witness identified only as Quynh was reported in the report as stating

"When the fire broke out, I was so terrified that I rushed for safety, and I don't recall how it happened." On Wednesday,

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told the Ministry of Public Security and provincial officials to find out where the fire started.

Chinh also asked the cities and provinces of Southeast Asia to improve fire safety in places like karaoke bars that are prone to fires.

Karaoke is popular in Vietnam, but concerns have been raised over inadequate safety measures at establishments.

Last month, three firefighters perished in a fire at another karaoke establishment in Hanoi.