Tuesday, May 22, 2012

4-year-old boy dies in gas station fire

The gas station where a fire broke out this afternoon, May 21, killing a 4-year-old boy. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
The ill-fated child was Vu Manh Duy, who was sleeping in the station’s store when the fire occurred at 3:45 pm today at the gas station 4/34 located at the junction of Nguyen Oanh and Nguyen Van Luong Street in the district’s Ward 17.

At that time, the station was receiving petrol from a petrol tank truck of the Southern Food Company.

The driver of the vehicle was Tran Van Thiet, 48, of Tan Phu District, HCMC.

The petrol tank truck of the Southern Food Company.
Witnesses said that they saw petrol flow out from the station area to the roadway nearby and that some loud explosions were heard before the fire broke out.

The fire caused a panic among local residents and passers-by, who tried to escape.

Many people tried to extinguish the fire with a number of fire extinguishers but they failed to stamp it out.

The fire then spread rapidly to the café located next to the station. Nguyen Thi Luu, 29, of Bac Giang Province, the café’s owner, tried to escape with her 2-year-old baby in her arms.

Luu had not enough time to take Duy out of the station’s store, which was also consumed by the fire.

The scene of the deadly fire.
The fire also burned several motorbikes at the station before it was put out by the firefighters who were called to the scene.

The overflow of petrol might be caused by Thiet’s and his assistant’s recklessness while they were discharging the petrol from the truck into the gas station’s reservoir, said Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tra Van Lao, deputy head of Go Vap District Police.

The overflowed petrol might catch fire from a burning cigarette or from sparks emitted from the engine of a vehicle that was running on the street at that time, he said.

The police are investigating the cause of the fire.