[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

South Korean hospital fire kills 21

Bedridden patients were trapped by "choking fumes" in hospital near Seoul, state news agency reports.

Last updated: 28 May 2014 05:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A blaze has swept through a hospital in South Korea, killing 21 people and leaving six others in a critical condition, according to the country's news agency.

Most of the patients who died at the hospital on Wednesday in Janseong county, south of  the capital Seoul, were in their seventies and eighties, Yonhap news agency said, citing police and fire officials.

Thirty bedridden patients were trapped by "choking fumes" on the second floor of an annex building, while 10 patients on the first floor managed to escape, the report said.

One nurse was on duty at the time and was among the dead. 

The fire was extinguished in around 30 minutes, Yonhap cited fire official Kim Kyong-man as saying, adding that officials said the toxic fumes were to blame for the heavy death toll.

The elderly patients were suffering from a range of illnesses including Alzheimer's disease, while others had suffered strokes.

It was the second deadly blaze in South Korea in two days after seven people were killed and 41 injured in a fire at a bus terminal near Seoul on Monday, the AFP news agency reported.

That fire was believed to have been sparked by welding work at an underground restaurant.

The country is still reeling from the loss of around 300 people - mostly schoolchildren - in a ferry disaster last month.

223

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.