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Deaths in South Korea resort roof collapse

At least 10 killed, more than 100 injured, after accident involving 500 students in Gyeongju.

Last updated: 18 Feb 2014 04:53
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South Korean media reported that heavy snowfall was believed to have resulted in the collapse [AFP]

At least 10 people have been killed in the South Korean city of Gyeongju after the roof of a resort auditorium collapsed during a welcoming ceremony for university students, officials have said.

More than 100 others were injured in Monday's collapse in the southeastern coastal city as heavy snow reportedly hampered rescue operations, according to AFP news agency.

"Ten people are confirmed dead, two were seriously injured and 101 others suffered bruises and cuts," a spokesman from the Ministry of Security and Public Administration told a press briefing in Seoul. 

Nine of the dead were college students, police said, adding that an event organiser was also killed.

All the students were believed to be accounted for, but rescuers were still searching the site on Tuesday morning for anyone still trapped inside.

South Korean media reported that heavy snowfall was believed to have resulted in the collapse, but the cause was still being investigated.

"The ceiling came crashing down at the front near the stage. Then pandemonium broke out and everyone started rushing towards the exits, shouting and screaming," one student told the YTN news channel. 

The collapse came as about 1,000 students from Busan University of Foreign Studies gathered at the resort of Gyeongju. More than 500 of the students were in an auditorium when the roof collapsed, the official said, and many managed to get out of the building by themselves, he said.

Weather officials said heavy snow had fallen in the Busan area in the last week.

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