Update: 20:31 | 15/02/2023
1,900 students at the Yen Hoa primary school in Hanoi's Cau Giay District had to be evacuated Wednesday noon after a fire began at the school’s basement.
The fire began to produce smoke columns that engulfed a 5-story building at the school, where the basement is also located, at around 11:45 a.m.
Children wait to be evacuated as their primary school caught fire in Hanoi, February 15, 2023.
Teachers were instructed to evacuate the students off the building. As the incident happened during nap time, several students did not have enough time to put on their shoes as they escaped.
They were evacuated to either another building inside the school, an apartment complex opposite of the school or a kindergarten next to the school.
Three firefighting trucks and dozens of officers were dispatched to the scene to help guide the students to safety. At 12:05 p.m., the fire was put out. There was no human casualty, though some desks and chairs were damaged in the fire.
Students got the afternoon off.
"We are waiting for authorities to perform inspections. If it's possible, the students would return to school starting tomorrow. If not, the school will send the students' books and other items to their families and switch to online learning," said Nguyen Phuong Lan, the school's principal.
An initial investigation revealed that the fire happened due to a short circuit. Lan said electrical inspections are performed regularly, and no similar incident has happened in the past.