File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Hanoi - A fierce fire broke out at a karaoke lounge in Vietnam's capital city on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 13 people, according to local Fire and Rescue Police Department.

By Tuesday mid-night, fire-fighters and rescuers brought 13 bodies out of the karaoke lounge on Tran Thai Tong Street, Cau Giay District, online newspaper VnExpress quoted brigadier Doanh Manh Viet from the Fire and Rescue Police Department as saying. The search and rescue would be continue overnight, said Viet.

The fire at the karaoke lounge, which rapidly spread to nearby houses, was detected at nearly 2:00 p.m. local time and contained after seven hours after that. It destroyed the front of four eight-story buildings and many motorbikes and cars. The fire broke out in an area which is home to 6 karaoke bars, many restaurants and fashion shops.

The district's officials said the burnt karaoke lounge does not have a certificate which says it meet fire safety requirements.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the municipal authorities to quickly seek and find victims, assist their families, probe into the accident's causes, and close karaoke boxes and other facilities that do not meet fire safety requirements.

A total of 2 660 fires and explosions occurred in Vietnam in the first 10 months of this year, killing 96 people and injuring 224 others, the fire prevention authorities said Tuesday, before the latest fire at the karaoke lounge broke out.

ANA-Xinhua