HA NOI (VNS)— The death toll in the fireworks factory explosion on Saturday in northern Phu Tho Province has reached at least 24, according to the authorities, as urgent resources and aid have been deployed to the area throughout the weekend.
Nearly 100 people were also injured from the factory detonation, which occurred on Saturday around morning at the Z4 wing of the Z121 military factory – run by the General Department of the Defence Industry under the Ministry of Defence – in Thanh Ba District of Phu Tho Province.
The bodies of 23 victims have been identified, most were workers at the factory.
Doctors from Military Hospital 103 and the National Institute of Burns in Ha Noi were sent to Phu Tho to help local doctors treat burn victims. Seriously injured people were transported to central hospitals in Ha Noi for treatment.
The explosion also damaged hundreds of houses and other buildings.
According to the local authority, a technical fault led to the initial explosion. Fire then spread to the production establishment where an estimated 17,000 boxes of stored fireworks caught fire. Financial damages were estimated at VND52 billion (US$2.47 million).
On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai visited the area, calling for special assistance to the victims’ families and treatment for those injured. He also ordered relevant agencies to provide an assessment on the living environment for residents after the blast. The ministries of Public Security and Industry and Trade were also asked to urgently increase inspections of facilities that produce flammable industrial materials nationwide.
Families of the deceased workers will be given VND50 million by the Defence Ministry in additional to financial support from local authorities.
The Z121 factory was the only one of its kind in Viet Nam and produced fireworks for national holidays.
Since 1994, Viet Nam prohibited the production and use of firecrackers and switched to aerial fireworks, which are produced only in State-owned facilities and used mostly for national holidays or special national occasions. — VNS
A fireworks factory explosion in northern Phu Tho Province on Saturday killed 24 people and injured nearly 100 others. A house near the factory and motorbikes were destroyed by the explosion. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang