15 dead, 1 injured in karaoke bar fire in Myanmar

A local fire official says the accident was apparently caused due to the overheated electrical system,

Singapore fire
Firefighters trying to put out the flames Representational Image

At least 15 people, including four women, died and one was injured after a fire broke out at a local karaoke bar in central Myanmar on Sunday night. A number of revelers were trapped inside singing rooms that were filled with poisonous smoke.

According to the Fire Service Department, the incident took place when the blaze consumed the top floor of the Shwe Myat Min Thamee KTV bar in the town of Magway, northwest of the capital Naypyitaw.

A local fire official said the accident was apparently caused due to the overheated electrical system, which set fire to the sound-proof lining inside the singing rooms.

"All those killed were inside KTV rooms at the time... It seems the wires became hot and started burning the foam," Magway region fire department director Aung Win Sein told AFP on Monday.

The authorities said the four women who were killed were all employed at the bar. The police have registered two cases against the bar owner for negligence causing serious accident.

Karaoke bars are quite popular in Myanmar, where many also serve as fronts for illegal brothels. But, this latest incident is the deadliest fire in the country in recent years.

In April 2013, 13 teenage boys were killed after a fire broke out at a Muslim school in Yangon. The authorities had blamed on substandard wiring. Reports show that fire alarms and sprinklers are usually installed only at high-end hotels and some government buildings in major cities.