Burn Survivor Help Denied By Vietnamese Government
By: Michael Appleman, CEO
October 30, 2002 was a very shocking day for the people in Ho Chi Minh
City, Viet Nam. A very busy six story building caught on fire. Inside that building, at the start of the fire, there were several businesses. There was also an American insurance company conference and a wedding, with over five hundred people. Due to the extent of the fire and the equipment the firefighters did not have, the fire lasted 5 hours, over one hundred people were killed and over one hundred were injured.
It took the Vietnamese firefighters 3 hours just to get the hose inside the building.
The Vietnamese firefighters fought the blaze for over 5 hours. During that time, the firefighters used several ladder trucks to help as
many people as possible escape from the roof. Flames were raging from many windows. The firefighters were unable to reach at least one
man who cried for help from a window because the firefighters lacked the proper equipment. Smoke lingered in much of the building and
over the congested district that evening. The building remained too hot to enter. Firefighters sprayed water onto the blistering remains,
hoping temperatures would cool enough for them to enter the building.
Reports of the fire were seen on televisions in Viet Nam and around the world. So many
people realized that it is possible that so many people were injured and died due to the fact that the Vietnamese Government does not
supply their firefighters with the quality of equipment that the American firefighters and
Reports of the fire were seen on televisions in Viet Nam and around the world. So many people realized that it is possible that so many people were injured and died due to the fact that the Vietnamese Government does not supply their firefighters with the quality of equipment that the American firefighters and others have.
Shortly after the fire, both, Nguyen Thi Dieu Tran, Vice President & Director - Viet Nam and Michael Appleman, CEO & Executive Director, contacted PACCOM in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. They requested the documentation needed, from the Vietnamese Government, in order for BSTTW to gather
the funding, medical supplies and medications needed to help rebuild the lives of the new burn survivors. PACCOM never responded to the request. The Vietnamese Government is delaying the help BSTTW can attempt to give to their people. BSTTW is also willing to try to get donations needed to help the firefighters get new fire fighting equipment.
It is very sad to see so many people in need and a government hesitating to allow an international 501 (c)(3) Non Profit organization from giving their burn unit what is needed.
The American International Assurance Association was the American company, conducting a training program in that building at the time of the fire. At least six staff members died and thirty were injured in the blaze.
It is still believed that an electrical short circuit was the cause of the blaze.