Where lies the responsibility for the Carina Plaza fire?

11:09 | 28/03/2018
Despite holding 95 per cent of Hung Thanh Co., Ltd., 577 Investment Corporation has refused responsibilities as Carina Plaza’s developer. Meanwhile, Hung Thanh Co., Ltd. has violated numerous regulations while establishing the management board of Carina Plaza, preparing the construction design, and maintaining the building’s fire prevention and fighting system.
where lies the responsibility for the carina plaza fire
Over 15 cars and 150 motorbikes have been burnt in Carina Plaza fire

Four days after the Carina Plaza fire, which killed 13 people and injured nearly 100, 577 Investment Corporation (NBB) has just sent a letter to the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) and the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HSX) to explain its role in the project.

In the letter, chairman of NBB Doan Tuong Trieu confirmed that Hung Thanh was the sole developer of Carina Plaza, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction’s decision approving the project. Accordingly, NBB is only a shareholder with 95 per cent of capital contribution in Hung Thanh.

Meanwhile, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction has just specified the violations of Hung Thanh. The department recommended the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee to handle the violations, as well as requested Hung Thanh to quickly fix the apartment building.

Carina Plaza was put into operation in 2012. The Ho Chi Minh Fire Department approved the fire prevention and fighting tests of the apartment building, but the developer has yet to submit the test results to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction.

In October 2015, residents sent a letter to provide feedback on establishing the management board as well as poor security and hygienic circumstances. Thereby, the Department of Construction asked District 8’s governance and Carina Plaza’s developer to hold a meeting, elect a management board, and handle violations. Up to date, the department has yet to receive any report on these issues.

In December 2016, Hung Thanh rented Saigon Real Estate JSC (SEJCO) to manage and operate Carina Plaza. However, there were no terms on the regular maintenance of the elevator system, fire alarms and firefighting system or firefighting equipment.

When the fire started in Carina Plaza several days ago, the fire alarms did not go off, the automatic sprinklers in the building did not start and the emergency lighting did not turn on during the fire.

According to newswire plo.vn, between 2012 and 2017, Ho Chi Minh City’s firefighters checked the fire safety of this apartment building 21 times and three times detected that the automatic fire alarms were not active, the firefighting water supply system and the fire hydrant outdoors were not working, and emergency lights did not turn on.

At the end of 2017, when firefighters checked the building, no violations were detected. However, when the fire started in Carina Plaza several days ago, the fire alarms did not go off, the automatic sprinklers in the building did not start and the emergency lighting did not turn on during the fire. The fire doors in the building had also been wedged open with bricks, allowing smoke to billow up to residential floors, causing the deaths of most of the 13 victims.

Therefore, the Ho Chi Minh City Fire Department has been appointed to check and review the entire fire prevention and fighting system and test the fire safety of Carina Plaza. The police in Ho Chi Minh City have just launched a criminal investigation into alleged violations behind the fire.

By Nguyen Huong

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