At least 33 people have died and more than 70 have been injured in a fire at a South Korea hospital on Friday, January 26. The desperate bid of the patients to escape the blazing building has been recorded and posted on social media.
The fire reportedly started in the morning around 7.30 local time. It was extinguished in three hours.
Videos from the scene show one patient hanging desperately on to a rope dangling from a helicopter that had come for rescue operations. Another patient was seen crawling out of a window to reach a ladder in order to climb down the building.
This is the second such fire to happen in January in South Korea. The six-storey hospital in Miryang has a nursing home as well. Previously, 29 people were killed in a fitness club blaze in Jecheon, which occurred due to insufficient emergency exits, flammable materials, and illegally parked cars which blocked access to emergency rescue services.
According to the National Fire Agency, 33 people have been killed and 13 have been critically injured in the blaze, apart from 61 with minor injuries.
Fire Chief Choi Man-Woo said that the fire had erupted in the emergency room, according to the statement of two nurses. He added that all the patients have been evacuated, including 15 patients from the intensive care unit on the third floor, which was done with medical supervision.
Photos and videos from the scene show dark smoke engulfing the hospital building and multiple fire trucks surrounding it. According to police, around 200 people were in the Sejong Hospital building when the fire started.
"The victims came both from the hospital and the nursing home. Some died on their way to another hospital," said Man-Woo, as reported by Asia One. Firefighters ensured that the victims were wrapped in blankets and rescued them through the blackened structure after the fire was brought under control.
The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-In stated that they were holding an emergency meeting with advisers to discuss emergency response measures.