Colossal fire in HCM City forces hundreds to evacuate

VOV.VN - Hundreds of residents of Ho Chi Minh City were forced to evacuate from their homes last night (June 22) after a gigantic warehouse fire at the Saigon Port sent plumes of black smoke and fireballs billowing high into the air.

More than 180 firefighters respond to the scene of the fire to battle to prevent the blaze from spreading.

It takes fire crews about three hours to contain the fire within the Saigon Port and keep it from spreading to nearby residential areas.

However, they add that it will likely carry on burning for the rest of the day.

The fire is first reported by a worker at the port at about 11pm.

Terrifying: The fire at the port sends huge plumes of black smoke and fireballs into the air.

Nearby businesses and neighbouring homes are evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Doctors say the smoke is not toxic but issue general health advice to residents, asking people to keep windows closed while asthma sufferers have been urged to keep inhalers near.

Photos and videos posted on social media show a thick plume of black smoke rising over Ho Chi Minh City for much of the night while explosions are also heard.

Emergency services say several people are being treated for minor burns to their hands but there are no reports of any further casualties.

In total, about 200 police and security personnel attend the incident.

Tran Hoang Quan, chair of People’s Committee of District 4, says due to the significant amount of smoke that is billowing from the fire, I would strongly advise residents to keep their windows and doors closed.

He says: We are asking people to keep doors and windows shut, and to avoid outside play for children for the time being.

He also says the local authority is monitoring the situation closely regarding nearby residential care homes.

Public health officials also advise people to stay out of the smoke plume as far as possible, and to avoid the area.

Fire officials report that thanks to their extensive training and expertise the fire is tackled as safely and quickly as possible. 

All told, four warehouses are burnt to the ground and all the contents are a total loss.

There is no tally on the total damages yet, say fire officials, but they are expected to be massive.





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