Nearby residents have been sharing eye-witness accounts of the fire that broke out Friday morning at a hospital in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, both on social media and through news interviews.
"There was so much smoke that it was hard for people to approach (the building)," said one passerby in an interview with a local television news outlet. "Even from 10 meters away, it was frightening."
The fire occurred around 7:30 a.m. at Sejong Hospital's emergency room and quickly spread to other parts of the hospital, according to authorities.
S Korea's worst fire disaster in a decade as blaze sweeps hospital
The death toll rose to 41 as of 12:52 p.m. All 94 patients of the hospice adjacent to the hospital are thought to have been evacuated safely.
"My father works at Sejong Hospital's funeral hall," said a Twitter user. "I went there myself and we all worked to evacuate the people at the hospice, but I still worry about the people inside the main hospital building."
"Sejong Hospital is located right in front of my house," said an Instagram user. "It's a hospital that's five minutes away. My parents would go if they got ill. I can't stop crying," the user added.
"My mother is at the site and she says it is total chaos," another Twitter user said.
혈육이 거동을 못하는 상태로 병원에 나흘째 입원 중이라 밀양 화재 소식 너무 마음이 무겁다...— 철관음 (@butwhatsit2u) January 26, 2018