South Korea building fire likened to Grenfell Tower kills 29

South Korea building fire likened to Grenfell Tower kills 29

Many firefighters fought against the blaze

Friday, December 22, 2017

Twenty nine people are dead after a fire ripped through an eight-storey building in South Korea, in a disaster which has been likened to Grenfell Tower.

The country's National Fire Agency said it was the deadliest fire in South Korea for nine years.

The fire started on Thursday night (December 21) at the sports centre in Jecheon in the North Chungcheong province. It is thought the blaze began in a car parked next to the building and then spread.

It took roughly two hours for firefighters to take control of the fire, according to CNN.

A Jecheon city spokesman said the majority of bodies were discovered in a public bath which was on the second floor. The other nine bodies were found on floors higher up, which had restaurants and a gym.

President Moon Jae-in has reportedly visited the area and the mayor of Jecheon has said an investigation will take place into the incident.

Jecheon has also said money will be made available for funerals for those who died in the fire and funding will be provided for those needing treatment.

Some of those who got out of the sports centre alive had to jump from balconies to mats put out by firefighters on the ground.

A helicopter was also used in the rescue operation, taking roughly 20 people from the roof of the building.