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Fire Kills 21 at SKorean Hospital For Elderly

May 28, 2014 by  

Fire Kills 21 at SKorean Hospital For Elderly, Twenty-one people suffocated and seven people were injured Wednesday in a fire at a hospital in southern South Korea that specializes in patients suffering from dementia and palsy, officials said.

One patient at the Hyosarang Hospital in Jangseong county, an 81-year-old man suffering from dementia, was detained in an investigation after security video footage showed him entering an area where the blaze began, police said. Police declined to provide further details, saying the cause of the fire was still being investigated.

Jangseong Fire Department officials said 20 patients and one nurse were killed and that seven people were injured, adding that the victims suffocated. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of office rules.

Kim Jeong-bae, one of the firefighters who entered the building, said none of the bodies that he and his colleagues retrieved were burned and that they apparently were already dead when firefighters entered the hospital while it was engulfed in black smoke.

There were 34 patients and a nurse on duty on the second floor of an annex of Hyosarang Hospital when the fire broke out, officials said. More than 270 fire officers put the fire out after about six minutes, the officials said.

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