Carina Plaza developer escapes to hospital to evade investigation

March 29, 2018 | 17:25
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The Carina Plaza fire brought grave difficulties to the developer Hung Thanh Co., Ltd., even the threat of bankruptcy, and the leader of the company has gone to hospital after being summoned by the police.
carina plaza developer escapes to hospital to evade investigation
Carina Plaza’s developer might be facing bankruptcy

577 Investment Corporation (NBB) is the key shareholder of Hung Thanh with 95 per cent of the capital, while Creed Group, a Japanese company is the strategic partner pouring investment into NBB’s buildings.

What will NBB do to take responsibility for the Carina Plaza fire, which killed 13 people, injured a hundred, and burnt over 150 vehicles?

Nguyen Minh Thong, leader of Ho Chi Minh City’s investigation agency, said that Hung Thanh had hired Saigon Real Estate JSC (SEJCO) to manage and operate the building, and Gia Khang Security Company to keep the vehicles and ensure security in the building.

“We want to meet and work with Nguyen Van Tung, director of Hung Thanh, but he has been in hospital since March 25. We convened the meeting, but he but he did not attend, citing health issues. However, someone needs to take responsibility and be held accountable at court,” Thong confirmed at the press conference this morning.

He also announced the fire broke out from a scooter in the basement at 1.15 AM on March 23, and spread fast to the surrounding vehicles, lasted for 15 minutes, and caused a blackout in the building. At the time, there was no one on the scene. “If there had been a security guard to detect the fire and use the small fire extinguishers, the fire could have been put out,” added Thong.

Nguyen Sy Quang, chief of the Ho Chi Minh City Police, said that they detected violations in the fire prevention and fighting equipment and system at Carina Plaza. They have determined three reasons behind the tragedy, including delayed alarms, outdated fire prevention and fighting systems, and blocked exits.

The Ho Chi Minh City Fire Prevention Department has checked the building 22 times since it was put into operation in 2012. It was penalised four times for seven mistakes.

Additionally, the Carina Plaza fire could drive the developer Hung Thanh into bankruptcy, as its charter capital is only VND41.2 billion ($1.8 million) while the company had to spend heavily paying compensations and supporting residents to find other accommodation and fix the damaged building.

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