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1-min read

Fire in South Korean Fitness Centre Kills 29

A fire station official said most of the victims were found in the sauna, and the main cause of the death was suffocation rather than burns.


Updated:December 21, 2017, 9:04 PM IST
Fire in South Korean Fitness Centre Kills 29
Smoke rises from a burning building in Jecheon, South Korea on December 21, 2017. (Photo: Yonhap via Reuters)
Seoul: A fire in an eight-storey fitness centre in the scenic South Korean city of Jecheon on Thursday killed at least 29 people, most of them as they were taking a sauna, officials said.

The blaze began in a car parked on the first floor and spread, one official told Reuters. The local fire station said at least 12 women and three men were known to have died. Thirteen bodies were unrecognisable.

The fire station official said most of the victims were found in the sauna, and the main cause of the death was suffocation rather than burns.

The casualty toll was likely to rise as efforts to find victims remained in progress, fire station officials said.

Heavy smoke charred glass facades of the building as firefighters struggled to extinguish the blaze, some climbing up and down a ladder in desperate search of survivors.

Local news channel YTN said President Moon Jae-in voiced deep sorrow for so many deaths while Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon vowed to expedite rescue efforts to try to minimise the number of dead and injured.

Jecheon is southeast of the capital Seoul and is popular with visitors to its mountains and lakes.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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