January 25, 2018

South Korea's deadliest fire in almost a decade has ripped through a hospital in the city of Miryang, killing at least 39 people and injuring more than 100.
The fire comes less than a month after a similar tragedy left 29 dead in the city of Jecheon, raising concerns over lax safety standards in the country.
Officials said they were still investigating the cause of Friday's fire, which is believed to have started around 7:20 a.m. local time in the emergency room on the first floor of the 98-bed Sejong Hospital.
Deadliest fire in 10 years kills 39 in South Korean hospital
Rescue services took three hours to completely extinguish the flames which engulfed the first two floors of the six-story building in Miryang, which is about 270 kilometers (168 miles) south-east of the capital Seoul.
At press briefing, Son Kyung-chul, chairman of Sejong Hospital, said that sprinklers were not installed in the building due to its small size.
Deadliest fire in 10 years kills 39 in South Korean hospital
The majority of those killed in the blaze are believed to be elderly patients, said Chun Jae-kyung, head of the Public medical center in Miryang.
"Because the hospital had many intensive care units and elderly patients. There were a lot of people with breathing problems," Chun said. Most of the deaths were due to smoke inhalation.
Deadliest fire in 10 years kills 39 in South Korean hospital
A total of 18 people remain in critical condition.
The hospital is adjacent to a nursing home and shares many of the same facilities. All the patients inside the nursing home were rescued, authorities confirmed.
Footage aired on local TV showed emergency workers battling the blaze, as hospital staff rushed to evacuate patients, carrying those unable to walk on their backs.
Kim Dae-hyun, the owner of a shop next to the hospital, told CNN that many of the patients at the dual medical facility were in their 80s and 90s and were unable to walk without assistance.
Deadliest fire in 10 years kills 39 in South Korean hospital
The recent spate of deadly fires has led to questions over the government's ability to enforce sufficient safety measures.
Two men were arrested following the deadly building fire in December which killed 29 people. The building's owner is accused of violating fire safety regulations and committing involuntary homicide by negligence. The building's manager is accused of involuntary homicide.
That fire is suspected to have started in a parked vehicle on the ground floor and quickly consumed the eight-story building. Many of the bodies were found in a public bath on the second floor.
Deadliest fire in 10 years kills 39 in South Korean hospital
For many in South Korea, Friday's blaze will bring back painful memories of 2014, when a fire at a nursing home in the southern county of Jangseong killed 21 patients, many of whom were left trapped due to their inability to escape unaided.
After Friday's fire, South Korean President Moon Jae-in called an emergency staff meeting. In a statement, Moon promised to quickly identify the cause of the fire in order "to prevent the recurrence of the fire in the future."
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