Dozens dead in South Korea hospital blaze, say firefighters

2018-01-26 06:16
Rescue teams remove bodies from a hospital fire in Miryang, South Korea. (Kim Gu Yeon, Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo via AP)

Rescue teams remove bodies from a hospital fire in Miryang, South Korea. (Kim Gu Yeon, Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul - At least 33 people were killed in a blaze at a hospital in South Korea on Friday, in the country's worst fire disaster for a decade.

More than 70 people were also injured in the second devastating blaze in just a month in one of Asia's most advanced countries and its fourth-largest economy.

Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder.

The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the hospital, and the National Fire Agency said 33 people had been killed, with 13 critically injured.

Another 61 suffered light injuries, a spokesperson said, adding the death toll could rise further.

"Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo, but the cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

Heavy dark smoke

All the patients had been brought out, he said, adding that evacuating 15 patients from the intensive care unit on the third floor took longer as firefighters had to wait for medical staff to supervise the process.

All victims came from the hospital, he said.

"Many victims were from the first and second floors of the hospital... some died on their way to another hospital," he said.

Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by heavy dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks.

Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished.

Around 200 people were in the Sejong Hospital building when the fire broke out, police said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In expressed regret in an emergency meeting with advisers to discuss response measures, and urged utmost efforts to minimise casualties, his spokesperson said.

Moon ordered the cause of the fire to be swiftly identified "to prevent confusion among families", added Park Soo-Hyun.

The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles.

Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Incheon killed 40 workers.

The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the south-eastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    south korea

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...

 

Paws

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.