SEOUL: Authorities have confirmed 41 people dead and a score of others injured in a deadly fire outbreak at a hospital in Miryang, South Korea.
The incident is South Korea’s deadliest in a decade, as authorities fear a rise in death tolls. Several injured people are in a critical condition.
The fire is said to have begun in an emergency room at Sejong Hospital, a cardiology hospital in Miryang.
Miryan, often spelt Milyang, is a city in Gyeongsangnam-do Province, about 270km (168 miles) south-east of the capital, Seoul.
Around 200 patients were in the hospital when the fire started. Most of them were evacuated.
South Korean media quoted firefighters saying that most patients died after inhaling smoke.
Fire chief Choi Man-woo told media the cause of the fire was not yet known.
“The victims came both from the hospital and the nursing home. Some died on their way to another hospital,” AFP quoted Man-woo as saying.
According to Choi, the fire started around 07:30 local time (3:30 AM PKT on Thursday). It took three hours to put out the fire, he added.