A fire in a nine-floor apartment building in Vietnam’s capital has left 56 people dead and dozens injured.
The fire broke out at about midnight local time on Wednesday (17:00 GMT on Tuesday) but had been contained by 2am (19:00 GMT on Tuesday), the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
“56 people have been killed and 37 people injured,” Hanoi police department said in a statement.
The building was home to 150 residents, state media said. Residents were being treated for smoke inhalation and injuries sustained as they tried to escape the building.
State-owned national television channel VTV said four children were among those killed.
Television images showed firefighters equipped with hoses and ladders at the scene by night, while a column of thick, dark smoke billowed from the building during the day.
The AFP news agency said the building’s small balconies were surrounded by iron, with the apartment block having only a single exit – and no emergency ladder on the outside.
“I heard a lot of shouts for help. We could not help them much,” a woman who lived near the block told AFP at the site. “The apartment is so closed with no escape route, impossible for the victims to get out.