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Chemical Explosion Blamed for the Death of 4 HCMC Students

Well, this isn’t the news we like to see as Vietnam gears up for the Tet holiday. Last weekend, 4 students were killed when a blast tore through their District 10 house. Based on witness interviews, police suspect the group was using illegal chemicals to make firecrackers for the upcoming Lunar New Year.

The explosion broke out at 3:20pm Saturday afternoon on Ly Thuong Kiet Street in District 10, near the HCMC University of Technology where all 4 victims were students. One of their fellow students, Vo Trung Hoang Van, who escaped unharmed from the blast relayed the cause to police:

“Two days ago, Hieu - one of the deceased victims - came to Kim Bien market and brought home some chemicals, including sulfur and magnesium to make firecrackers.

Hieu planned to bring the firecrackers back to his hometown for the coming Lunar New Year.”

When the fire was detected by the home’s owner, he evacuated the building and neighbors rushed to put out the fire with small extinguishers. When it flared out of control, the Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department of District 11 sent six fire trucks and 36 officers to the scene who contained the flames within 30 minutes.

When firefighters entered the house, they found the remains of the 4 students, all between 20 and 23 years old.

Firecrackers have been banned in Vietnam since 1994.


[Tuoi Tre // Photo via crazydean

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