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Six die of gas poisoning at Vietnam karaoke bar accident

Six people died and six more were left in a critical condition from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at a karaoke bar in northern Vietnam, police said Tuesday.

The 12 men had apparently spent Sunday night at the karaoke bar in Quang Ninh province, which borders China, when there was a power failure, a policeman told AFP.

“The bar owner ran the generator and we believe the victims suffocated due to generator fumes,” he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

State media reported that the victims had been drinking heavily and had decided to sleep the night at the karaoke bar.

Carbon monoxide poisoning causes headaches, nausea and fatigue and prolonged exposure to the colourless, orderless gas can be fatal.

Portable generators release higher levels of the gas than an idling car and need to be properly ventilated to prevent a build up of the poisonous gas.

Karaoke is a popular form of entertainment in Vietnam, but many karaoke bars are not properly designed and do not meet minimum safety standards, especially in rural areas.

Vietnam’s karaoke bars are known for attracting heavy-drinking patrons and several establishments have been linked to prostitution, which is illegal in the communist country. - AFP

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