16 dead in sauna blaze in South Korea - fire service

2017-12-21 14:47
Fire-fighters try to extinguish a fire at an eight-floor building in Jecheon, South Korea. (Kim Hyung-woo, Yonhap via AP)

Fire-fighters try to extinguish a fire at an eight-floor building in Jecheon, South Korea. (Kim Hyung-woo, Yonhap via AP)

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Seoul - Sixteen people were killed and 22 injured in a major blaze at a building housing a sports centre and public bath in the central South Korean city of Jecheon, the fire agency said on Thursday.

"All victims were found at a public sauna in the building," said a spokesperson for the National Fire Agency.

Television footage showed eight-storey building consumed by flames and issuing dark plumes of smoke, as several people stood waiting for help on the outdoor terrace.

The fire – believed to have started at a parking lot on the first floor – has been mostly put out, but the death toll may rise further as fire-fighters continue to search the building, the spokesperson said.

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