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(4th LD) One employee dead, others injured in hotel fire

22:31 January 14, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES lead with details; ADDS photo)

CHEONAN, South Chungcheong Province, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- A huge fire tore through a 21-story hotel in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, on Monday, leaving one employee dead and at least 19 others injured.

The 53-year-old hotel worker was found dead on the first basement level of the Ramada Encore Cheonan hotel, authorities said. Nineteen people, including four firefighters, suffered inhalation and were sent to a nearby hospital. Three of them were severely injured. Some of them are unconscious, a source said.

Plumes of smoke come out of the Ramada Encore Cheonan hotel in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, on Jan. 14, 2019, in this photo provided by a citizen, Kim Soo-young. (Yonhap)

The fire broke out at the 21-story building in the city's downtown at around 4:46 p.m. The fire is believed to have started in the basement. The blaze was put out about four hours later, with its exact cause still unconfirmed.

The hotel, which has a total of 420 rooms, opened in September last year.

Two individuals wait for rescue from the Ramada Encore Cheonan hotel in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, on Jan. 14, 2019, in this photo provided by a citizen, Kim Soo-young. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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