12.13.2012

Piezoelectric Fires in Vietnam


Motorbike Burns After Refill in Central Vietnam

By Thanh Nien Staff for the Thanh Nien News
January 13, 2012

A Yamaha motorbike caught fire right after being refilled at a gas station in central Vietnam on Friday. No one was injured in the accident.

Many people around the gas station in Thua Thien-Hue Province panicked because they were afraid that the fire would spread to the gas pumps around 2 meters away, the website of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

Nguyen Van Duy, 32, the bike owner, said the bike burned when he pressed the pedal and the engine had not yet been started.

The fire burned all the electrical wires and the plastic parts of the bike. It was extinguished in two minutes by workers at the station.

Local police have taken gas samples at the station for testing and also have begun examining the motorbike.

Poor gas quality has been a prime suspect of more than 100 vehicular fires across Vietnam since February 2011, including one that killed a mother and her four-year-old daughter in the northern province of Bac Giang.

An investigation by Thanh Nien newspaper published this week exposed a major fuel fraud, in which fuel trucks were found stopping at mysterious places along their way to gas stations to replace some fuel in the truck with an unidentified liquid.




Driver Injured as Taxi Catches Fire in Southern Vietnam

By Thanh Nien Staff for the Thanh Nien News
January 11, 2012

A taxi driver was critically injured when his car caught fire in Ho Chi Minh City early Wednesday morning, local news website VnExpress reported.

According to the news site, Phan Duc Hoa, 33, was sleeping inside the Vinasun taxi, which was parking in front of a gasoline station in District 12, when the fire broke out.

Upon discovering the fire, passers-by shouted for help, alarming other taxi drivers who were sleeping near Hoa's vehicle, the news website said. They quickly drove their cars out of the site to avoid the fire, which flared up and threatened to spread to the fuel station a few meters away.

Meanwhile, Hoa was stuck inside the car, so locals had to break the car's back door to get him out of the taxi and extinguish the fire, VnExpress reported.

Hoa was rushed to a local hospital with heavy burns. His car was totally damaged inside, it said.

The case is being investigated.

Since last year, Vietnam has recorded nearly 100 vehicular fires across the country, half of which remains mysterious.




3 Injured in Mystery Bus Fire in Southern Vietnam

By Thanh Nien Staff for the Thanh Nien News
January 7, 2012

Three people were injured when a public transport van with passengers caught fire in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai Friday.

Witnesses said the Ford Transit was carrying around 20 people from Dong Nai to Ho Chi Minh City when the fire started in the second row of seats.

Passengers yelled at the driver, Tran Van Tuan, to stop the vehicle and open the door for them to get out, while some broke the back window to jump out.

Soon the fire spread, totally destroying the van and all the passengers' luggage. It was not extinguished until 30 minutes later.

The same day a woman escaped without injuries when her Kia Morning car caught fire in the northern city of Hai Phong.

Tran Thi Diem Huong said when she was driving to work, she saw a fire in the back. As soon as she stopped, she heard an explosion and the fire turned into a conflagration.

She managed to open the door and escape before it spread to the front.

The car was completely destroyed.

In Hanoi that day two SH motorbikes also burned down in sudden fires.

All the cases are being investigated.

An estimated 89 vehicles burnt across the country last year, more than 50 percent of which remain a mystery. At least nine cases have been recorded in just the first week of this year.

The fires have not been restricted to any particular kind of vehicle or brand, and have destroyed Honda and SYM bikes and a BMW car.

The needle of suspicion has pointed towards unscrupulous fuel traders who sell dodgy gasoline mixed with additives like methanol. Experts have said that while this does increase fuel combustion, they erode the rubber in the fuel line, causing gasoline to leak and ignite.

However, tests of gasoline samples taken from the accident sites by related agencies have turned up nothing so far.




Vietnam's Mysterious Motorbike Fires Rage On

By Thanh Nien Staff for the Thanh Nien News
January 6, 2012

Two Honda motorbikes have become the latest victims of mysterious fires that have burned more than 90 vehicles across Vietnam since last year.

One of the new cases happened in the central province of Thua Thien - Hue right after Hoang Thi Mai Tram left Hue Central Hospital, where she works, on Thursday.

Tram said she found a fire burning below her motorbike's storage compartment, so she stopped it and used a bottle of saline solution to put it out.

According to Tram, after the fire, she checked her bike and found that some of the electrical wires had been burned.

That same day an Air Blade also caught fire in the northern province of Bac Ninh, when Thang Thi Thu Phuong, 33, had just arrived at Dong Nguyen Secondary School for a parent meeting.

Phuong said she saw smoke coming from the rear of her motorbike and the fire was extinguished quickly without causing major damage, thanks to locals.

A report on VnExpress Friday said the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality has taken gasoline samples from Phuong's bike to be tested, given that poor-quality gasoline is being considered as a possible cause of vehicular fires.

However, Tran Van Vinh, deputy chief of the directorate, was quoted as saying checks on the bike at a local Honda agent found that the fire likely occurred due to rats chewing through the motorbike's fuel pipe, allowing gasoline to leak and ignite.

He said large-scale inspections are needed in the future to clarify the root of fires that damaged or ruined 89 vehicles last year and at least five this year. The official also suggested people and related agencies should cooperate with the directorate to solve the cases, more than 50 percent of which remain unexplained.

At the moment, poor-quality gasoline mixed with additives to increase its combustion is under suspicion, as experts argued that the additives like methanol can erode rubber materials, allowing fuel to leak and ignite.

However, samples taken at several gasoline stations where the owners of burned vehicles bought fuel before the accidents have passed all tests administered by the directorate so far, VnExpress reported.

On December 30, the samples taken from Mai Dich Station, an agent of Military Petroleum Co., were found containing methanol with the concentration of 15.8 percent as compared to the regulated 0.5 percent.

Together with acetone and ethanol, methanol is being suspected of causing vehicular fires. Experts said the additives increase gasoline's combustion but are corrosive to rubber materials. Thus, they will allow fuel to leak and ignite.

Following the findings, Vuong Dinh Dung, director general of Military Petroleum Co., said it has terminated its contract with Mai Dich, one of the company's major agents, as of January 1.

According to Dung, the tests by the directorate's office QUATEST I found nothing wrong with the samples taken from other stations.

Dung, however, stressed it was possible that the recent fires and explosions were caused by various factors, not gasoline quality only.


Vehicular fires continue in Vietnam, still puzzling

By T.Hang - Le Quan for the Thanh Nien News
January 2, 2012

The mysterious fire that plagued tens of vehicles in Vietnam last year has shown no sign of stopping, as two motorbikes and two minibuses were burned on the first two days of the new year.

A report on VnExpress Monday said two minibuses in the northern province of Tuyen Quang were totally damaged in a flame at around 3 a.m. Monday.

The article quoted locals of Yen Son District as saying that they heard a big explosion from My Lam Tea Joint-stock Co. while they were sleeping. When they rushed out of their houses, they saw two minibuses of Manh Vinh Transport Co. that were parked in front of the tea company on fire.

On New Year's Day, a motorbike caught fire in Ho Chi Minh City, prompting a man and his wife to jump off it. The couple were not injured.

The man told police that he bought the bike, which was produced in China, four years ago for VND6.5 million (US$309).

Initial information indicated that the incident was probably caused by electrical leakage, police said.

That same day, another motorbike, a Chinese-produced Wave, also caught fire in the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, when its owner was opening the under-seat storage to fill the bike's gasoline tank.

Witnesses said the gasoline station's staff had to push the bike away from fuel tanks before extinguishing the fire.

Last year it was estimated that at least 18 vehicular fires and explosions occurred across the country. The fires were not exclusive to any particular brand, but occurred in various Honda, SYM, and BMW models, said the Ministry of Public Security.

Most of the cases remain unsolved so far, including the explosion of a Honda Dream that killed a woman and her daughter in northern Vietnam on December 1.


Fuel in Focus

In related news, authorities in the north-central province of Quang Tri have ordered the provincial Department of Science and Technology to work with police and other related agencies to scrutinize local fuel traders' operations.

The order came in response to suspicions that recent vehicular fires have been caused by poor-quality gasoline.

On December 31, a Ford Escape in the province's Dong Ha Town caught fire, critically injuring two people.

Last week the suspicion raised by local experts also prompted the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, Vietnam's quality watchdog, to take samples of gasoline related to the cases and at random stations for tests.

However, so far all the samples, except those taken from the Hanoi-based Mai Dich Gasoline Station, met regulated safety standards, said Tran Van Vinh, deputy chief of the directorate.




Suspected Fuel Passes Inspection, Vietnam Vehicular Fires Remain Unsolved

By Thanh Nien Staff for the Thanh Nien News
December 31, 2011

Tests on gasoline samples suspected of being related to recent vehicular fires in Vietnam revealed no excessive additives which might have caused the blazes, Tuoi Tre reported Saturday.

The newspaper quoted Tran Van Vinh, deputy chief of the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, as saying that the samples did not contain acetone or methanol, and its oxygen content did not exceed regulations.

Vinh said the samples were taken from the remaining gasoline in the fuel tank of the SYM Attila that caught fire in Hanoi on December 28. They also took samples from the gasoline station near the home of Nguyen Thi Quynh, who was killed along with her daughter when her Honda Dream exploded on December 1 in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

Although all the samples met Vietnam's safety standards, the agency still ordered its divisions to continue testing suspected samples to see if they were related to the fires and explosions, the official said.

He advised people and related agencies, in case of fires, to submit gasoline samples for testing.

Previously the directorate launched inspections in response to suspicion that traders were mixing low-performance fuel with additives to improve its combustion, so it could then be sold at high prices.

According to experts, acetone, methanol and ethanol corrode motorbikes' rubber compartments that come in contact with fuel, allowing it to leak and ignite.


Tainted fuel found in Hanoi

In the meantime, the two samples that the directorate took from random gasoline stations in Hanoi were found to contain excessive methanol, Tuoi Tre reported

One had a methanol concentration of up to 20 percent, compared to regulations which call for levels no higher than 0.5 percent.

The other sample, taken from the Mai Dich station, a retailer of Tu Liem Services and Export Company (Tultraco), had a methanol rate of 15.8 percent.

Nguyen Kim Quan, deputy director general of Tultraco, said they bought the fuel from an agent of Military Petroleum Company, adding that to Tultraco's board of directors, high concentration of methanol means "high quality," according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Xuan Canh, manager of Mai Dich station, said he was "surprised" by the findings, noting that they used a "strict process" to transport gasoline to the station, making it impossible to mix in additives.

When there are problems with the quality of gasoline, the supplier's agent and the producer should be held responsible, because gasoline stations are only distributors that earn commissions, according to Canh.

He said Tultraco has sent a letter to the Military Petroleum Company, asking to clarify claims about the gasoline's quality.

According to Tuoi Tre, previously Mai Dich station has had its gasoline checked by the Market Management Team No.13, following locals' complaints about its quality.

Tran Thi Bich, an inspector of the team, said in the newspaper that their tests on the gasoline found nothing wrong.


Mysterious fires continue

In related news, a Mercedes-Benz tanker caught fire Friday, as it headed from Hanoi to the northern province of Lang Son.

Driver Do Duy Phuong said as he drove at high speeds along National Way 1A in Bac Ninh province, he saw a fire burning behind the cockpit through his rear view mirror.

Phuong then quickly stopped the vehicle and jumped from the cockpit.

Upon receiving Phuong's call, Bac Ninh's firefighting division sent a truck to the site where it took firefighters nearly an hour to extinguish the blaze.

According to Tuoi Tre, the Sao Mai Industrial Gas Co. Ltd. tank truck was not carrying gas when the accident happened.

The fire, however, was big enough to damage the truck's electrical system, tires and cooling and heating systems, estimated to be worth VND1 billion (US$47,500).

At least 18 vehicular fires and explosions have occurred across the country this year, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Public Security on December 23. The fires nave not been exclusive to any particular brand, but have occurred in various Honda, SYM, and BMW models, the ministry said.




More motorbike fires, but official agencies clueless

By Thanh Nien Staff for the Thanh Nien News
December 23, 2011

With more motorbike fire scares on Vietnam's roads with no one the wiser as to the reasons, users are alarmed while official agencies continue to shift the blame on each other.

On December 18 Nguyen Vinh Hung was parking his Chinese-made motorbike in front of a shop on De Tham Street in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 when he found smoke coming out from under the seat.

He quickly lifted up the saddle and turned off the anti-theft alarm he had installed: its wire was singeing.

On the same day Nguyen Van Ha was waiting at a red light in HCMC's Tan Binh District when other drivers saw smoke coming from his bike, an imported Honda PS he had bought in 2008 for VND160 million (US$7,600).

He turned off the engine in panic and found sparks in an electrical wire.

Hung and Ha were lucky to have detected possible fires early, but some others have not been so lucky, with almost a dozen motorbikes going up in flames. A pregnant woman and her daughter were killed recently in Bac Ninh Province after their bike exploded.

People have become wary.

Bike sales have been hit at a time when they usually soar in the run-up to Tet - on January 23 this year - and sellers hike prices of models in demand.

An employee at a shop in HCMC's District 4 said many Honda scooters are being sold at lower than recommended retail prices. A Lead is VND34.09 million instead of VND34.99, and an Air Blade is VND36.3 million instead of VND36.99, he said.With more motorbike fire scares on Vietnam's roads with no one the wiser as to the reasons, users are alarmed while official agencies continue to shift the blame on each other.

Many shops said there has been only a slight increase in the sales of Yamaha, Suzuki, and SYM bikes.

Service shops have seen an increase in the number of bikes brought for maintenance.

"Some people brought their bikes for maintenance earlier than recommended and others got them checked just days after the regular maintenance," a mechanic said.

Vu Thi Bach Nga, head of the Consumer Protection Agency at the Vietnam Competition Authority, told Thanh Nien that her agency had asked Honda if the fires were related to product quality.

On December 13 the Japanese company, commenting on the fires, said it had not detected any fault in its products that could account for them.

While motorbike fires have been a recent phenomenon, cars made by Hyundai, Daewoo, BMW, Mercedes, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Kia, and Toyota have all been hit by blazes in the last 12 months.

A Mercedes 300E was completely destroyed in Hanoi on December 18 after a fire broke out suddenly.

According to the Hanoi fire brigade, there have been 42 cases of motorbike and car fires since December 2010.

The buck doesn't stop here

It is not known yet why the fires are occurring, and no official agency has come up with answers.

Do Huu Duc, deputy head of the Ministry of Transport's registry department, said his agency would inspect all motorbike manufacturers and assemblers without specifying when.

Commenting on the fires, he said since there were no official investigation results it was unclear if they had occurred due to production faults or unsafe operation.

Drivers have to protect themselves until the police identify the cause, he said.

Nga said her agency is responsible for protecting consumers but does not have the authority to investigate the fires.

The registry said it is only responsible to ensure manufacturers strictly follow the registered production process and bike design.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted To Xuan Thieu, deputy director of the Hanoi Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department, as saying that firefighters are only responsible for extinguishing the fires and it is the police who should investigate their causes.

But Dao Thanh Hai, chief investigator at the Hanoi police, said his agency does not have the responsibility of investigating the fires and pointed a finger at the fire service.

Thus the buck-passing continues.




Hanoi Mystery Motorbike Fires Spreading to Cars?

By Thanh Nien Staff for the Thanh Nien News
December 19, 2011

The mysterious fires that burned down four vehicles in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi this month are no longer restricted to motorbikes, but have spread to cars, it appears.

A Mercedes 300E was completely destroyed on Sunday in a fire that broke out suddenly, but the four passengers inside luckily escaped unscathed.

Ngo Van Nam, the owner of the car, said he and the others had smelled smoke while heading for the northern province of Nam Dinh, and quickly got out. Ten minutes later the fire broke out, he said.

The car was registered in 2001 and he bought it secondhand in 2006. He said he used it frequently and never saw any sign of explosion or fire before.

Local agencies are inspecting the cause. Vu Thi Bach Nga, head of the consumer protection division at the Vietnam Competition Authority, told Thanh Nien the same day that her agency had sent a letter to Honda Vietnam asking it if the motorbike fires were related to its products' quality.

The Japanese firm has seven days to reply. Between December 9 and 16 four motorbikes, three of them produced or imported by Honda Vietnam, were destroyed in similar fashion in Hanoi - by going up in fire on the road for no obvious reason.

However, on December 13, in its only comment so far on the accidents, Honda said it had not detected any fault in its products that could account for the fires.




Analysis

These unexplained fires in Hanoi comprise a small portion of the many such unusual recurring fires that are connected with anomalous electrical surges and piezoelectric fires that are now being caused all over the world by an unrecognized force: ultra-low frequency sound, far below the audible level of most humans.

This infrasonic influence is building strong electrical currents in the metal objects like wheel-barrows, door-knockers and copper electrical wiring in the walls of homes, which then become hot enough to ignite the plastic sheathing surrounding the wires. In other cases, heated wires ignite bed mattresses and metal hangers ignite clothing.

The infrasound which is now being focused onto the Hanoi, Vietnam vicinity is being transduced by the Orion pyramids of present-day Giza, Egypt, which act as a nonlinear lensing system for resonantly balancing the geomagnetic fields of Earth as stimulated by coronal mass ejections from the increasing solar activity.

Hanoi, Vietnam (21.02N 105.84E) is 4,630 miles from Giza, or 18.6% of the Earth's mean circumference distance (of 24,892 miles). Recent events occurring at nearby locations include the ancient 'Plain of Jars' on Xieng Khouang Plain, Laos; Bac Tra My, and Klai, Vietnam.

The mathematical relationship of Hanoi within the global pyramid network reveals the invisible quantum connections linking such anomalous events related to solar activity. This pattern of intense solar flares and the resulting infrasound fires at focal points around the planet will culminate in the intense auroral events of December 22, 2012.

Other widely reported examples of such extreme manifestations of this resonance are now simultaneously occurring in Tenerife, Freetown, Babura, Abuja, Bauchi, Jos, Omukondo, Onakaheke, Tsholotsho, Lalapansi, Goodhope, Nairobi, Mpumalanga, Mapuve, Bodibe, Bloemfontein, Hopewell, Cape Town, Tshiozwi, Landovica, Galway, Longford, Glasgow, Dublin, Crewe, Coventry, Llanwern, Hull, Worcester, Sandown, South Benfleet, Basingstoke, Peterborough, Waterford, London, Surrey, Steeple, Egham, Wisbech, Messina, Peschici, Berici, across northern Greece, Ratria, Kakori, Mumbai, Kolkata, Charajpura, Thiruvananthapuram, Kishtwar, Gangyal, Rangrik, Kota Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Santo Tomas, Bandar Seri Begawan, New Norcia, Darwin, Rockhampton, Adelaide, Brisbane, Eaglehawk, Sydney, Georgetown, La Pampa, Melipilla, Nelson, and in the US in Seattle, Corvallis, Soudan SP, Minneapolis, New Ulm, Pueblo, Waxahachie, Anderson, Bluffton, Georgetown, Gautier, Crestview, Homosassa, San Mateo, Vallejo, San Francisco, Clovis, Calaveras, Haverhill, Peabody, Brentwood and New York City.