Apartment fire kills at least 4, injures 101 in Korean town

Apartment fire kills at least 4, injures 101 in Korean town

A fire broke out at an apartment building in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province Saturday killing at least four and injuring 101 people.

One of the individuals killed by the fire reported to be a 68-year old woman identified as Ahn and a 26-year old woman identified by the surname Han. In addition a 44-year old man identified as Lee, and an as yet unidentified woman in her 40s have died due to the fire.

The injured includes two police officers who were dispatched to the scene.

According to the emergency services and witnesses, the fire started at about 9:25 am in a mail box located in the above-ground parking lot of a 10-story apartment building and spread to adjacent buildings. The police are investigating the cause of the fire, and have not ruled out the possibility of arson.

The fire quickly spread up the building, and flames are said to have blocked the main entrance hampering residents' escape. According to news reports citing construction industry sources, the exterior of the buildings are likely to consist of combustible materials.

As the fire spread up the building, in the process of which adjacent buildings were also damaged, a number of residents jumped from various floors to escape the blaze. Of the residents taken to nearby hospitals, seven are said to be in critical condition.

Although 80 fire trucks and helicopters were deployed, the emergency services experienced difficulties in extinguishing the blaze as the building is backed by rail tracks. The fire was completely extinguished at 11:44 am

A large number of residents were rescued by helicopter from the roof of the building, and 20 vehicles are reported to have been destroyed.

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