South Korea A fire broke out Friday in a South Korean hospital, leaving at least 33 dead and dozens wounded.
At least 33 people died and more than 70 were injured in a fire that broke out Friday in a hospital in South Korea, said firefighters. This is the second devastating fire in Asia’s fourth economy in just one month.
On social media videos, you could see a patient hung on a helicopter rope above the Miryang hospital in the south-east of the country. Another passed through a window to reach a ladder.
#SouthKorea – Miryang #Firefighters are now battling a #fire in a hospital & elderly care facility. Initial reports are 31 people killed and 40 injured. pic.twitter.com/LN5xOjfCUY
— GlobalFire DMGF (@globalfiredmgf) January 26, 2018
The six-storey building housed a nursing home for the elderly in addition to the hospital. According to the National Fire Service, 33 people died while 13 people are in critical condition. Sixty-one others were slightly injured, said a spokesman, who did not rule out a worsening of the balance sheet.
“Two nurses said that they saw the fire suddenly in the emergency room,” said Fire Chief Choi Man-Woo. The origins of the incident were not known in the immediate future.
All patients were evacuated, he added. The evacuation of 15 hospitalized patients in the intensive care unit on the third floor took longer because the relief workers had to operate under medical supervision. “The victims come from the hospital and the rest home,” he said. “Some died while being transported to another hospital”.
Pictures from the scene in South Korea as firefighters race to extinguish a deadly fire at Sejong Hospital, Miryang.
The fire is thought to have started in emergency room: https://t.co/3XqAZkbMY9 pic.twitter.com/cNlbJaHOWf
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 26, 2018
On video images and photographs, one could see the establishment engulfed by thick clouds of gray smoke. Many fire engines were on the scene. The survivors were wrapped in blankets. Once the fire was extinguished, the firefighters began to search the blackened rubble of the building. About 200 people were in the building housing Sejong Hospital when the fire broke out, police said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In has met urgently with his advisers to determine what action to take, according to his cabinet.
This incident occurred a month after a fire in a gymnastics club in the city of Jecheon, in which 29 people had died. The disaster was attributed to the lack of emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars that blocked access to firefighters’ vehicles. The hospital fire is the worst in South Korea since a warehouse that killed 40 people in Incheon in 2008.
The deadliest incident in the country’s contemporary history was the arson attack in 2003 at a subway station in Daegu in the south-east, which left 192 dead and nearly 150 wounded.