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Indonesia Karaoke Bar Fire Kills at Least 12

  • VOA News

Curious onlookers gather outside the building that houses a karaoke club that caught fire leaving scores of people dead in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Oct. 25, 2015.

Curious onlookers gather outside the building that houses a karaoke club that caught fire leaving scores of people dead in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Oct. 25, 2015.

A karaoke bar fire early Sunday killed at least 12 people and injured about 70 on Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, police said.

An electrical short-circuit on the second floor likely caused the 1 a.m. fire at the three-story Inul Vizta Karaoke bar as many sang in private rooms, Manado Police Chief Rio Permana said.

"The fire filled the rooms and corridors with thick black smoke and people started panicking and running helter-skelter in the dark. Some inhaled the smoke while others tried to escape by jumping out of the windows onto the street," provincial police spokesman Wilson Damanik told the French news agency AFP.

Among the causes of death and injury were smoke inhalation and broken bones from those who jumped out of the windows, Permana said, adding that few died from burns.

Damanik said it appeared there was no emergency staircase in the building. "So that could be why it was difficult for people to get out quickly. But all these (matters) are still being investigated," he said.

Police Chief Permana said there was only one access door to the building, which may have also made an emergency escape difficult.

Police were continuing to investigate the incident.

Some material for this report came from AFP.

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