Indonesia karaoke fire kills 12

Indonesia fire: Sulawesi karaoke parlour blaze kills 12

  • 25 October 2015
  • From the section Asia
People wait to identify the bodies of their relatives among the victims of a karaoke fire, at a hospital in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, on SundayImage copyright AP
Image caption People wait to identify the bodies of loved ones in body bags at a hospital in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Sunday

At least 12 people died when a fire broke out in a packed karaoke parlour in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, police say.

Panicked people smashed windows to flee as black smoke spread through the Inul Vizta building in Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province.

But others were trapped in the building, which reportedly had only one access door.

Most of the victims are said to have died from smoke inhalation.

About 70 others are in hospital.

‘Running helter-skelter’

The fire broke out at about 01:00 local time on Sunday morning (Saturday 17:00 GMT) on the second floor of the building, where hundreds of people were singing in private rooms, witnesses told authorities.

“The fire filled the rooms and corridors with thick black smoke and people started panicking and running helter-skelter in the dark,” provincial police spokesman Wilson Damanik told AFP news agency.

“Some inhaled the smoke while others tried to escape by jumping out of the windows onto the street,” he said.

Associated Press quotes witnesses as saying firefighters took about an hour to arrive, leaving workers to try to put out the fire with extinguishers.

All 12 confirmed dead were Indonesia, Mr Damanik said.

An electrical short circuit has been identified as the likely cause but an investigation is under way.

BBC News – World