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At least 10 killed, 100 injured after building collapses in southeastern Korea

Publication Date : 18-02-2014

 

At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 were injured after a resort building collapsed in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, southeast of Seoul on Monday.

The ceiling of the prefab building, used as an auditorium, caved in at 9:15pm apparently due to heavy snow, according to witnesses.

Some 1,100 freshmen of the Busan University of Foreign Studies were attending a welcome event organised by the student council at the Mauna Ocean Resort, the school said.

There were 565 students in the building when it crumbled, the school said.  Most got out soon after and around 100 were buried.

As of 7am Tuesday, nine students and one party organiser had died and about 100 others had been transfered to hospitals in the nearby city of Ulsan, according to local police officials.

Police also said three students and 11 party organisers remained unaccounted for.

Rescue workers had difficulty reaching the scene because heavy snow blocked the road leading to the resort, which is in a remote mountain area.

A student said a concert was underway inside the building and it took less than 10 seconds for it to fall down, he said.

“A lot of people rushed to the exit when the ceiling collapsed. Some were trampled. It was very chaotic,” he said.

He said he called the emergency services, and rescue workers arrived at the scene about 20-30 minutes after the collapse occurred.

Prime Minister Chung Hong-won instructed Security and Public Administration Minister Yoo Jeong-bok and National Emergency Management Agency Administrator Nam Sang-ho to make utmost efforts to save lives.

"With heavy snow presumably being the cause of the accident, there needs to be a thorough safety check on all kinds of facilities, a fact-finding probe and measures to prevent a relapse once rescue operations are over and the situation comes under control," Chung said.

 

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