Dozens killed in South Korean building fire

Update 1.48pm: A fire at an eight-storey building in the central South Korean city of Jecheon has killed 28 people and injured 26 others.

A Jecheon fire department official said the death toll could rise as rescuers continue to search the building after putting out the fire.

He said many of the people who died had been using a public bath on the second and third floors, which made it harder for them to escape.

Organisers for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics said the Olympic torch relay had been scheduled to pass through Jecheon on Friday, but the route has been revised as a result of the tragedy.

Local media showed firefighters battling the blaze with trucks and helicopters, and a man jumping from a window as firefighters held a mattress below.

It was unclear what caused the fire but it is likely to have started at the building's car park, according to fire officials.

The building had several restaurants and leisure facilities, including a gym, the public bath and an indoor golf practice facility, officials said.

Earlier: One person has been confirmed and another 15 are presumed dead after a fire broke out at an eight-storey building in the central South Korean city of Jecheon.

A fire department official from North Chungcheong province said the status of the 15 had not yet been confirmed by doctors.

The official said at least 16 others are being treated for injuries, and rescue workers are searching the building for people after extinguishing the fire. Local media showed firefighters fighting the blaze with trucks and helicopters, and a man jumping from a window as firefighters held a mattress below.

It was unclear what caused the fire but it is likely to have started at the building’s car park, according to an official from Jecheon’s fire department.

The building had several restaurants and leisure facilities, including a gym, public bath and an indoor golf practice facility, the official said.

KEYWORDS: South Korea, Fire

 

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