South Korea building fire likened to Grenfell Tower kills 29

Ceria Alfonso
Diciembre 23, 2017

South Korea's government on Friday began investigating a fire that tore through an eight-floor building and killed 29 people in the central city of Jecheon in the country's deadliest blaze in almost a decade.

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at an eight-floor building in Jecheon, South Korea, Thursday, Dec. 21.

Twenty victims were found at a public sauna and others elsewhere in the building that houses a fitness centre, public bath and restaurants, the National Fire Agency said.

A Jecheon fire department official said the death toll could rise as rescuers continue to search the building after putting out the fire.

Footage shows thick smoke billowing out of the building's windows as some of the 60 firefighters who attended the scene fight to contain the blaze.

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Organisers for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics said the Olympic torch relay had been scheduled to pass through Jecheon on Friday, but the route has been revised because of the tragedy.

Jecheon's mayor said the city, which is south-east of the capital Seoul and is popular for its mountains and lakes, was considering a mass funeral and planned to cover most of the costs.

The fire is South Korea's worst since 2008 when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers.

When the president will make the trip was not disclosed due to security reasons.

The worst fire ever to hit modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu that left 192 people dead and almost 150 injured in 2003.

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