A major fire drill involving high-rise buildings will be held in downtown Ho Chi Minh City with assistance from the Ministries of Public Security and Defence.

It will take place on August 14 at Diamond Plaza shopping centre in District 1 following several days of preparations, involving the city Fire Fighting force, the police, the Department of Health, and Military Zone 7.

The drill involves a simulated gas leak in a KFC restaurant kitchen on the fifth floor of Diamond Plaza that causes a severe fire and explosion.

Part of the fifth floor has been damaged, and the fire is spreading first to the entertainment area, then the entire floor, and then to the fourth and sixth floors, totally involving an area of 1,200 square metres.

Around 2,000 people, including customers and staff, are in the mall when the fire occurs, and rescuers are only able to evacuate 1,700 people.

Some 100 people are injured and stuck on the fifth floor while 200 others are trapped from the sixth to 21st floors.

After getting information about the fire, the director of the fire department orders firefighters from Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, Binh Thanh, and Tan Phu to put out the blaze and search for and rescue victims.

Two helicopters are mobilised.

Diamond Plaza has a mall with entertainment areas and cinemas, apartments, offices for lease, restaurants, and clinics.

The preparations have thrown traffic out of kilter in the downtown area but authorities have been able to quickly clear any congestion.-VNA