S. Korea hospital fire kills at least 30


Associated Press

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

A fire swept through a hospital for the elderly in southeastern South Korea today, killing more than 30 people and injuring dozens in one of the country’s deadliest fires in recent years.

Fire official Choi Man-wu said in a televised briefing that the fire at Sejong Hospital in the city of Miryang killed 31 people and injured 77, eight of them in critical condition.

The fire started from the first-floor emergency room of the hospital at 7:35 a.m. and was extinguished at 10:26 a.m., Choi said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

He said a total of 194 people had been hospitalized in two buildings of Sejong Hospital, including 94 elderly people who were hospitalized in the nursing hospital, before the fire broke out.

President Moon Jae-in’s office said Moon convened an emergency meeting with top advisers to discuss the fire. But it gave no further details.

Sejong Hospital has a nursing hospital for the elderly and also offers regular medical services. The hospital has 193 beds including 98 beds for the elderly who needs nursing care with 35 medical staff, according to Yonhap news agency.

South Korea is one of the fastest-aging countries in the world and has many nursing hospitals, which are preferred for elderly people who need long-term doctors’ care.

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