HCM CITY (Vietnam News/Asia News Network): Rescuers are urgently attempting to save people still trapped inside a convenience store in HCM City on Wednesday (Jan 18) after its storage section on the first floor collapsed on many customers and staff members on the ground floor, killing at least one person.
The teenage girl taken out of the store at 9:45am was unconscious and had suffered multiple injuries. Police later confirmed that she had died.
The accident took place at around 9am at a 40sq m Circle K store on Vĩnh Hội Street in Ward 4 in District 4.
A representative from the HCM City Police Department’s Fire Prevention and Rescue Unit, who directed the rescue operations at the site, said while four staff members managed to escape, the exact number of victims trapped inside the store remains unknown.
The rescue team is continuing pumping oxygen inside the store, dismantling steel structures, and unloading goods in order to take the victims out as soon as possible, local authorities said.
Initial information from authorities showed that the storage on the first floor was overloaded with goods for Tết (Lunar New Year) demand.
The store uses its the first floor as a warehouse and a space for dining with portable tables and chairs.
Authorities said the rescue work has been difficult since there are a lot of items blocking the store’s entrance.
The emergency response is likely to continue in the area through Wednesday.
Officials may close nearby roads and evacuate nearby buildings to facilitate response operations.
The exact cause of the accident is unclear, according to authorities.