At least 29 people were killed and 29 more were injured. The fire is believed to have started in a parking lot on the first floor. It produced much toxic smoke quickly, leaving many people unable to evacuate. Most of the victims were trapped in a sauna on the second floor. Some 20 people were rescued from the rooftop after taking refuge from the fire. Death toll may increase. Several of the survivors were taken hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Firefighters were fighting the blaze with trucks and helicopters. President Moon Jae-In expressed regret over the accident and urged officials “utmost efforts” for rescue and search operations. The worst fire accident ever to hit the modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu that killed 192 people in 2003. The disaster forced organizers of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to cancel a planned torch relay event at the city tomorrow.