A fire which broke out in the International Trade Center Building in Ho Chi Min City (ex-Saigon) Tuesday afternoon has claimed the lives of at least 59 people, and possibly many more according to newspaper reports.
Offices of American International Assurance Co., an AIG unit, located in the six-story building, had been training around 100 new insurance agents when the fire broke out. Six employees were reported among the missing.
According to a report from the Associated Press, local officials said that around 500 people were in the building when the fire broke out, and that as many as 100 were still unaccounted for.
An AIA staff member told the AP that fire had blocked all the stairways, forcing people to go up to the roof. A number escaped by climbing down drainage pipes, while many more were forced to jump.
AIG’s Vietnam headquarters are located in another building, and were not affected by the fire.