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Fire kills 7 in Yangon spa

Publication Date : 12-12-2013


Seven people were killed when a fire broke out in the middle of the night on Tuesday at the Venus Garden Spa in Yangon's Mayangon Township.

Three men and four women, all workers at the spa, were locked in their rooms and unable to escape the inferno that erupted in the middle of the night. Six died on the spot and one in hospital, according to police reports.

"A total of SEVEN people were killed. Two bodies were unrecognisable, but tests revealed that they were women. Their room was enclosed and they died of suffocation from the smoke. The door was also locked so they were trapped. Currently, we are investigating the spa’s manager," said Police Lieutenant-Colonel Win Kyi from Yangon's Western District Police Force.

The fire department said the incident was caused by an electric iron that overheated in the spa around 12:25am. Twenty-four fire engines soon came to extinguish the blaze which was finally put out at 1:45am.

"The fire resulted from the overheating iron when the staff were sleeping. There was no automatic system to extinguish fires installed at the spa," said Tin Min, deputy director of the Fire Services Department.

The spa is on the top floor of Gandamar Wholesale Shopping Centre, on the corner of Waizayandar Road and Gandamar Road in Mayangon Township. The building belongs to military-owned Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. 

In what can only be described as a nightmare scenario, other employees in shopping centre said that they tried to wake up the staff in the spa and alert them to the fire, but they heard no one. By that time there were flames coming out of the room and they had to flee as the electricity had already been cut.

The case is now under investigation as the spa lacked even the most basic emergency fire equipment and the seven employees appeared to be locked inside, making their escape impossible.


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