At least 41 people have been killed in a blaze at a hospital in Miryang, South Korea, with dozens more injured, some of them critically. The six-storey structure houses a nursing home as well as the hospital. The building was engulfed by heavy dark smoke. Almost 200 patients were inside the hospital building and adjacent nursing home when the fire broke out at about 7.30am local time.
Almost all of the victims appeared to have died from smoke inhalation. Most of those who died were on the first and second floors of the hospital. Officials in Miryang say the death toll is expected to rise. Witnesses said the fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room,” said fire chief Choi Man-woo, but the cause of the blaze was not immediately known.
The remaining patients had been evacuated being treated at four other hospitals nearby. The fire was mostly extinguished after a few hours. Miryang is about 270km southeast of the capital, Seoul.The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, called an emergency meeting with senior aides to discuss the response to the fire. The fire is the deadliest in South Korea in at least a decade. It occurred only a month after 29 people were killed in a vlaze at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon.