Seventeen people have been killed and 71 injured after a fire ripped through a crowded karaoke club in Indonesia, Sky News reports. Witnesses told authorities the fire started at around 1am on the second floor of the three-storey building on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island.
Hundreds of people were singing in private rooms at the Inul Vizta Karaoke club in central Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province. Police chief Colonel Rio Permana said workers were unable to put out fires with extinguishers. Many complained that fire engines arrived an hour after the alarm was raised.
It took firefighters several hours to bring the blaze under control. “We are still investigating the cause of fire,” the police chief said, but a preliminary investigation indicated a short circuit. He said some panicked people smashed windows and fled into the street while many others were stuck in choking black smoke.
There was only one access door to the building, police said. All 17 people who died were Indonesians. Most died from smoke inhalation injuries rather than burns, Mr Permana said.