Karaoke bar blaze kills 15 in central Myanmar

YANGON (AFP) - At least 15 people have died after a fire ripped through a karaoke bar in central Myanmar, trapping revellers inside singing rooms filled with poisonous smoke.

Eleven men and four women died when the blaze consumed the top floor of the Shwe Myat Min Thamee KTV bar in the town of Magway, northwest of the capital Naypyitaw, on Sunday night (April 2).

A local fire official said the electrical system had apparently overheated and set fire to the sound-proof lining inside the singing rooms.

"All those killed were inside KTV rooms at the time... It seems the wires became hot and started burning the foam," Magway region fire department director Aung Win Sein told AFP on Monday.

The four women who were killed were all said to be workers at the bar.

Police have opened two cases against the bar owner for negligence.

Karaoke bars are popular in Myanmar, where many also serve as fronts for illegal brothels.