HO CHI MINH CITY — Crowds who gathered for the Vietnam premiere of the new King Kong movie forced to flee in panic after a huge statue of the giant ape suddenly burst into flames.
Audiences were watching live performances when the fire started at the event in Ho Chi Minh city for Kong: Skull Island, which is premiering around the world this weekend.
Flames from a model volcano quickly spread to the statue and destroyed the entire stage at the premiere, Vietnam’s VTC TV reported.
The inferno was sparked when flames were ejected from a simulated volcano, setting the $AUD60,000 stage alight.
It is understood, crowds initially thought the fire was part of the plan, before the flames ripped across the elaborate stage, plunging guests into panic.
Nobody was injured in theincident, and it was reportedly extinguished in less than 20 minutes. A Vietnamese official from Warner Bros said the company was grateful no-one was hurt in the fire.
“The resiliency of Kong’s Vietnamese fans came through when they filled the theatre to enjoy the film,” the statement issued to the Hollywood Reporter said.
Video footage shows people running from the giant flaming gorilla, with some taking cover behind a large model ribcage to take photos.
Kong: Skull Island is about a group of scientists and soldiers attacked by a giant ape on a Pacific Island.