Jakarta: At least 12 people have been killed and manu injured when a devastating fire broke out in a karaoke parlour in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, police said on Sunday.
Panicked people smashed windows to flee as black smoke spread through the Inul Vizta building in Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province. But others were trapped in the building, which reportedly had only one access door.
Most of the victims are said to have died from smoke inhalation. About 70 others are in hospital.
The fire broke out at about 01:00 local time on Sunday morning (Saturday 17:00 GMT) on the second floor of the building, where hundreds of people were singing in private rooms, witnesses told authorities.
“The fire filled the rooms and corridors with thick black smoke and people started panicking and running helter-skelter in the dark,” provincial police spokesman Wilson Damanik told AFP news agency.
“Some inhaled the smoke while others tried to escape by jumping out of the windows onto the street,” he said.
Associated Press quotes witnesses as saying firefighters took about an hour to arrive, leaving workers to try to put out the fire with extinguishers. All 12 confirmed dead were Indonesia, Mr Damanik said.
An electrical short circuit has been identified as the likely cause but an investigation is under way.