By Steve Dellar  |  01-26-2018   News
Photo credit: @bintroo | Twitter

With just a few weeks to go before the country hosts the Winter Olympics, there is astonishment in South Korea today at the helplessness of a great number of patients in a hospital in Miryang, a city in the southern part of the country, who burned to their deaths as flames engulfed their floors.

Many did not expect this to happen in a nation as advanced as they are. Despite the fast response by the local fire department and the fact that the fire was put out after two hours only, there are at least 41 people dead and many more injured. Officials admit the death toll could still rise.

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Local fire chief Mr. Choi Man-Woo commented that "two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room."

"Many victims were from the first and second floors of the hospital, some died on their way to another hospital."

A patient who survived the ordeal, Mr. Jang Yeong-Jae, told reporters he was present on the second floor when he heard personnel screaming "Fire!"

"But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing."

"Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms."

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UPDATE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UPDATE</a> 41 were killed and more than 70 others injured in Miryang hospital fire, with the number of casualties likely to rise further: Yonhap (video via <a href="https://twitter.com/CGTNOfficial?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CGTNOfficial</a>) <a href="https://t.co/T42nsQ1uMz">pic.twitter.com/T42nsQ1uMz</a></p>&mdash; Global Times (@globaltimesnews) <a href="https://twitter.com/globaltimesnews/status/956759553705525250?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 26, 2018</a></blockquote>

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According to local media, it would appear the hospital building did not have any fire sprinklers installed. A new law due to go into effect in June 30 would have made sprinklers compulsory in hospitals but the South Korean parliament did not vote on it yet.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder <a href="https://t.co/FEBjL9VV7Y">https://t.co/FEBjL9VV7Y</a></p>&mdash; India TV (@indiatvnews) <a href="https://twitter.com/indiatvnews/status/956730009481195521?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 26, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Source:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/33-dead-in-south-korea-hospital-blaze-firefighters/article/513177#.WmqmkPoM-j0.twitter

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