Panic as 16ft King Kong model catches fire at premiere in Vietnam

Adam Arnold, News Reporter

Crowds gathering for the Vietnam premiere of the new King Kong movie fled in panic after a huge model of the famous gorilla caught fire.

Flames, which had come out of a nearby simulated volcano as part of the evening's entertainment, quickly spread, according to reports.

The 5m (16ft) tall ape then caught alight and within five minutes the whole of the stage outside a cinema had burned down.

Onlookers at the scene - a shopping centre in Ho Chi Minh City - had originally thought the spreading of the blaze was part of the programme.

But then realising the fire was serious, they scrambled to escape.

The incident reportedly happened at 7.05pm on Thursday when dancers were performing around a fire on a stage.

Footage from the scene captured the panic among movie fans.

Firefighters were called and put out the blaze after around 15 minutes.

The premiere was attended by Vietnamese officials and US consular officials in the country, among others.

The guests were ushered into the cinema following the incident to watch the blockbuster.

It is not thought there were any injuries.

The new movie Kong: Skull Island, starring Tom Hiddlestone, Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson, was largely shot in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi and remote parts of the country.

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