Page last updated at 02:03 GMT, Saturday, 5 December 2009

Fire in Indonesia city of Medan claims 20 lives

Firefighters bring out an injured person in Medan
The fire broke out in a karaoke bar on the third floor of a building

At least 20 people have been killed after a fire broke out in a building in Medan, in the north of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, police said.

The fire engulfed a karaoke bar situated on the third floor of a commercial building in the city, Indonesia's third largest.

Officials had difficulty gaining access to the smoke-filled rooms where victims were trapped.

The fire, which began early on Friday evening, burned for at least an hour.

Two more people were critically injured and were being treated in hospital, the Associated Press news agency quoted provincial police chief Badrodin Haiti as saying.

Local media reports suggested hundreds of people had been in the bar when the fire started.

Officials said they believed a short-circuit may have caused the blaze.

Medan police chief Imam Margono told AFP news agency: "They were killed because they got trapped on the third floor in the karaoke lounges.

"The lounges were near a kitchen and the third floor was sound-proofed, so there was no ventilation."

He added: "From the third floor the fire spread rapidly to other floors."

Print Sponsor

Indonesia country profile
29 Sep 11 |  Country profiles

Mail Online UK Anger mounts over Russian nightclub blaze that killed 112 as four suspects are arrested - 3 hrs ago 3 held over karaoke fire - 4 hrs ago
The Independent 112 die as fireworks explode in nightclub - 11 hrs ago
AFP via Yahoo! Three men arrested over deadly Indonesia fire - 15 hrs ago
The Scotsman Russian nightclub fire kills 109 - 20 hrs ago

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific