A fire in a South Korean hospital killed at least 31 people and injured more than 70, Reuters reports, citing a fire station official.
The fire started at around 7.30 a.m. (2230 GMT) at the rear of the emergency room on the first floor of Sejong Hospital and was mostly extinguished after a few hours, Choi Man-woo, the head of Miryang city’s fire station, told a televised media briefing.
Miryang is about 270 kilometers (170 miles) southeast of the capital, Seoul. The Yonhap news agency had earlier put the death toll at 33.
Firefighters had evacuated about 200 people from the main hospital building and nursing home directly behind the hospital, Choi said. Media footage showed at least one patient being carried from the hospital on another person’s back, covered in blankets.
Most of those who died were on the first and second floors of the hospital, Choi said.
There were no deaths from burns, he said, and officials were investigating the reason for the blaze.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in called an emergency meeting and ordered officials to provide support for those evacuated, Moon’s spokesman told a briefing.
Earlier on Friday, news channel YTN showed black smoke billowing from the windows and entrance to the hospital and flames flickering.
People evacuated from the hospital were being treated at four other hospitals nearby, YTN said.
The fire comes just a month after 29 people were killed in a blaze at an eight-storey fitness center in Jecheon City.
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