South Korea hospital fire kills 31, injures dozens

Sunday, 28 Jan, 2018

The death toll from South Korea's hospital fire has risen to 41 Officials said more than 80 people injured in the accident. South Korea's National Fire Agency reported at least 31 dead and 84 injured, with 14 of those people in critical condition.

Fire authorities have revised the death toll from a hospital fire in southeastern South Korea to 37.

According to the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service, Sejong Hospital has more than 100 beds, operation rooms, and an emergency room.

About 200 patients were inside the building and an adjoining nursing home at the time.

"There was so much smoke that it was hard for people to approach (the building)", said one passerby in an interview with a local television news outlet.

Some 40 fire trucks and 2 helicopters were dispatched to put out the fire and rescue those inside the hospital, and people who sustained injuries were transferred to over six nearby hospitals.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, said Choi Man-woo, head of Miryang Fire Station, in a televised press briefing. The building, which also houses a nursing home, has been evacuated.

Sejong Nursing Hospital has three medical staffs - a surgeon, a family medicine specialist, and a general practitioner.

Administrators at Sejong Hospital, the fire site, said one doctor, one nurse and one nurse's assistant were among the casualties.

Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "Many of them suffered from respiratory disorders, which could have made them especially susceptible to the fire".