Fire in South Korean malls kills at least 7, search continues

More than 500 firefighters and 90 vehicles were sent to the site as the fire burned for about seven hours.

A fire at a shopping centre in the South Korean city of Daejeon has killed at least seven people and injured one, according to local officials.

It was not immediately clear if there were people still missing or what had caused the blaze as smoke remained in some parts of the building in Daejeon, 168 kilometres (104 miles) from the capital, Seoul.

An official from the Daejeon Fire Headquarters said the search for survivors was ongoing after the fire had been put out at about 3pm (06:00 GMT). More than 500 firefighters and 90 vehicles were sent to the site, a fire official said.

The fire had started at about 7:46 am (22:26 GMT) and quickly spread across the basement’s loading dock area, forcing an evacuation of more than 110 people, including mall employees and customers at a nearby hotel.

Images from the scene showed a cloud of dark-grey smoke emerging from beneath the building as firefighters used water hoses and other equipment to put out the blaze.

Lee Seung-han, a fire official at the Yuseong fire department, said six of the people found dead were mall employees and that officials were still trying to identify the other victim.

The blaze did not occur during business hours. According to local news agency Yonhap, the victims were working on the basement floor and were “delivery, cleaning and disaster-prevention workers”.

The seven-storey outlet mall has been operational since 2020, Yonhap added.

Lee had no immediate comment about the cause of their deaths.

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