State media say 13 killed in karaoke fire in Vietnam

A fire at a large karaoke parlor in Vietnam's capital killed 13 people on Tuesday, state media said.

The fire broke out at the eight-story karaoke parlor in Hanoi and quickly spread to several nearby buildings housing restaurants and other karaoke parlors, they said. It took firefighters about five hours to put out the blaze.

Online newspaper VnExpress quoted Maj. Gen. Doan Viet Manh of the fire department as saying that 13 bodies were recovered from the scene.

State-controlled media quoted a guard at the karaoke parlor as saying the fire started at its sign board, and staff tried to put it out but failed.

Government officials were not available for comment late Tuesday.

In a statement on a government website, Premier Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked local authorities to search for victims and ordered police to carry out a prompt investigation and punish anyone who violated the law.