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Around 10 killed in home collapse caused by explosion in south Vietnam


15:09, February 24, 2013

HANOI, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- A total of seven people were confirmed dead and three went missing after three houses in a small alley in south Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City's District 3 collapsed following two explosions at dawn on Sunday, said the police.

Local police told Xinhua that rescuers have pulled seven bodies out of the rubble, while three others are still unfound.

The cause of the explosion was initially identified at the house of a man working for Lac Viet company, who produces tools for fires and explosions in movies. Many objects in the shape of guns and grenades were taken out of the house by rescuers.

According to Vietnamese state-run news agency VNA, the explosion broke out in a populated area in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City where many private houses are located.

Initial information has it that local people living in the alley on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in front of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda heard two explosions in five minutes and later discovered three houses were in flames with walls already collapsing, Tuoi Tre, a Ho Chi Minh City-based daily's website, reported.

Local residents said the explosions occurred at around 0:15 a.m. local time on Sunday.

According to the Tuoi Tre report, after being informed of the incident, hundreds of firefighters on more than 12 fire trucks came to their rescue.

The blast also caused a shockwave that shook houses within a radius of several hundreds of meters and even broke some windows.

Tuoi Tre quoted a local woman named Nguyen Thi Phuong, who was sleeping in her house at the time of the incident, as saying, "My family of four heard a big explosion that shook the whole house. We felt a surge of panic then and later smelt the smoke allegedly coming from fire-crackers. We fled our house to safer areas."

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