Fri. May 24th, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – Ten people, including six in one family, were killed in two explosions around midnight yesterday, Feb 24, in HCM City’s busy Nam Ki Khoi Nghia Street.


HCM City, Nam Ki Khoi Nghia Street, twin explosions
The body of the last victim is extracted 12 hours after deadly blasts rocked HCM City at midnight yesterday. The twin explosions claimed the lives of 10 people, injured four and brought down three houses.

The blasts, believed to have been caused by explosives used in special movie effects and stored in one of the houses, occurred five minutes apart, around 12:15am.

Four other people were injured while three neighbouring houses were engulfed in a massive blaze and reduced to rubble.

Early investigations identified explosive compounds used in movies props, which had been stored in one of the houses, rented by film studio director Le Minh Phuong, 58, who died along with his wife, his three children and a housemaid. The youngest daughter was six.

Phuong, who moved to the area two months ago, was reported to be a director for HCM City-based Lac Viet film studio. His job involves creating smoke and fire effects for movies.

Hundreds of firefighters and 13 fire engines were dispatched to the scene, some working until 1pm in the afternoon.

Witness Trinh Chi Thanh, 50, a security guard for Son Tinh paint store, which was next to Phuong’s house said he escaped death by a whisker.

“I was about to sleep when I had a large volume of bricks and mortar fell down on my face,” Thanh said. “Just as I was trying to figure what was going on, a blast sent me to the ground. When I looked up, I saw the roof over my room was blown off and a blaze was encroaching from the back of the store.

“That was not the worst, though, because with the second blast I was covered by brick, mortar and concrete. It took all of my strength to drag myself out.”

“I just don’t understand how and why I am still alive,” Thanh said.

Meanwhile, relatives of the victims were still mourning over their losses.

Le Dinh Quy, a younger brother of Phuong, said: “It is destiny. There is no one alive in my brother’s family, including poor little Quan (Phuong’s oldest son).”

Quy said that according to Phuong’s colleagues, the crew was supposed to shoot a scene in coastal Vung Tau City that was to use explosive compounds. After preparing the props, Phuong had decided to bring them home, rather than leaving them at the studio.

It was reported the victims’ bodies would be identified and then cremated, with their ashes kept at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, not far from the site of the explosions.

The investigation is continuing.

Source: VNS

By vivian