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(4th LD) 5 killed, 44 injured in fire at hospital in Icheon

17:07 August 05, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with more info)

ICHEON, South Korea, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- Five people were killed and 44 others were injured Friday in a fire at a four-story building that contains a hospital in Icheon, some 50 kilometers southeast of Seoul, fire officials said.

The fire broke out at 10:17 a.m. at a closed screen golf facility on the building's third floor where demolition work was under way, according to the officials.

The fire killed five people -- four patients and one nurse, all found at the dialysis hospital on the top floor -- while 44 others, many of them from the hospital, sustained injuries, such as smoke inhalation, as the fire sent smoke to the upper floor.

Of those injured, three sustained serious injuries, the officials said.

A total of 46 people, including 33 patients, were in the hospital at the time of the fire, but it remains unclear exactly how many people were inside the entire building,

The exact cause of the fire remains unknown, although sources said after seeing sparks during the demolition work on the third floor, workers fled and filed a fire report, as they were unable to put out the sparks on their own.

This photo provided by a reader shows rescue workers in operation at a hospital where a fire killed five people on Aug. 5, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Mobilizing 38 fire trucks and 108 personnel, firefighters completely extinguished the fire at 11:29 a.m. before sending in rescuers to the fourth floor to see if anyone needed help.

Exactly where and how the fire started will be identified in an official investigation, the officials said. Police formed a 70-member investigation team to get to the bottom of the incident.

The building also houses an oriental medical clinic and offices on the second and third floors, as well as restaurants on the first floor, according to the officials.

This photo provided by a reader shows rescue workers carrying away a victim from a hospital where a fire killed five people on Aug. 5, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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