Rescue was carried out at the scene of the Carina Plaza fire (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s Investigation Police Agency on April 20 started criminal proceedings against Nguyen Van Tung, Director of Hung Thanh Co. Ltd., for his alleged violations in fire safety regulations, leading to serious consequences in the blaze at the apartment complex Carina Plaza on March 23.

Colonel Nguyen Si Quang, spokesperson of HCM City’s Police Department, said the proceedings came along with a 4-month arrest for Tung. The Hung Thanh Co. Ltd. is the investor of Carina Plaza at No. 1648 Vo Van Kiet street, in district 8.

On March 26, criminal proceedings began against the incident, which was caused by a malfunctioned scooter parked in its basement.

Police said the Hung Thanh Co. Ltd. had failed to obey fire safety regulations. When the fire took place, necessary equipment was not available, while fire alarms and sprinkler system did not work.

In 2016 and 2017, the Fire Fighting Police Division of district 8 inspected and found a series of violations at the complex, such as failed alarms, sprinkler system, and emergency lighting system. Orders to fix these problems were sent to the Carina Plaza management board, but no improvements were made.

Carina Plaza is a high-end apartment complex including three buildings with 15-21 storeys and 736 apartments. It was put into use six years ago.

Up to 13 people died and more than 90 others were injured when the blaze started at 0:30 from the parking basement between Buildings A and B of the complex. Hundreds of people were stuck and rushed to upper storeys.

The city’s Fire Fighting Police Department sent 34 fire trucks and 200 police to the site to control the blaze and rescue stuck people. One hour later, the fire was controlled, but smoke still covered the buildings. Hundreds of people escaped safely.

The Investigation Police Agency is expanding its probe into the case and summoning more involved persons.-VNA