​Developer of Saigon apartments where blaze killed 13 accused of non-observance

​Developer of Saigon apartments where blaze killed 13 accused of non-observance

A mother (in black) hugs her daughter after losing each other in the fire at the Carina Plaza apartment complex in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The developer of the Carina Plaza apartment complex in Ho Chi Minh City, where a fire killed 13 and injured nearly 100 last week, did not adhere to regulations on condominium management, according to a report.

Multiple articles on the maintenance of fire alarm systems and firefighting equipment were omitted from a contract that Carina Plaza’s developer signed with a third-party agency that provided management services.

The report, compiled by the city’s construction department, was submitted on Tuesday to the municipal administration and the local Party Committee.

According to the report, a contract was signed in December 2016 between Carina Plaza’s developer Hung Thanh Co. Ltd. and the Saigon Real Estate Joint Stock Company (SEJCO), stating the latter would be responsible for the management and operation of the condominiums.

However, the contract lacked articles on maintaining the complex’s elevators, automatic fire alarm systems, and emergency fire equipment as required by Vietnamese regulations, construction inspectors found.

Carina Plaza’s Block A and Block C buildings were also found to have been built differently from their approved designs.

Specifically, the developer had used concrete in place of polycarbonate roofing sheets at many locations, and had sealed an exit on the mezzanine floors of the two buildings.

Areas designed for commercial use and services were also wrongly used for other purposes, the report read.

Hung Thanh Co. Ltd. failed to adhere to a regulation on the use and management of a maintenance fund.

The municipal construction department proposed a closer inspection of the structural quality of the Carina Plaza buildings, especially areas affected by last week’s fire.

The fire broke out at Block A of the three-block apartment complex in the early hours of Friday, killing 13 people and injuring nearly 100 others.

The blaze started from a motorcycle parked in the basement between the two buildings, according to CCTV footage released by police officers.

No fire alarm was sounded during the tragedy, and the building’s water sprinkler system was not activated.

Eleven victims died of smoke inhalation, while the other two fell to their death trying to escape from the on-fire building.

Carina Plaza’s developer issued a public apology on Sunday, three days after the event, and promised to provide financial support for families of the victims and residents affected by the fire.

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