At least 38 dead after fire at construction site in South Korea, Latest World News - The New Paper

At least 38 dead after fire at construction site in South Korea

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SEOUL : A fire at a construction site in South Korea killed at least 38 people and injured another 10 yesterday, fire authorities said.

The fire broke out when workers were building a warehouse in the city of Icheon, about 80 km south-east of Seoul, they said.

They said "rapid combustion" occurred while workers were working on an underground level of the warehouse, adding that they are investigating the cause of the blaze.

A fire department official was quoted as saying the fire spread "extremely quickly", rendering people inside "unable to evacuate".

The blaze reportedly started with an explosion during construction work involving combustible urethane used for insulation in a basement floor.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun ordered the mobilisation of "all necessary personnel and resources" to find and rescue those trapped inside and extinguish remaining flames.

A total of 410 people, including 335 firefighters, were mobilised to respond to the accident.

President Moon Jae-in asked related ministries to do their utmost for the search and rescue operation by mobilising all available resources, presidential spokesman Kang Min-seok said.

The fire was extinguished five hours after it began, the Yonhap News Agency said. - AFP, REUTERS