Coming just a month after the death of around 300 people in a Korean ferry disaster, a fire that swept through the Hyosarang Hospital in Janseong County, south of the South Korean capital Seoul, killed 21 people and injured seven, six of whom are believed to be in a critical condition.
The majority of the patients who died were in their seventies and eighties. Thirty bedridden patients were trapped by choking fumes on the second floor of the building, while ten patients on the first floor managed to escape. Just one nurse was on duty at the time and was among the fatalities. The police have detained a patient with dementia who is suspected of starting the fire.
This was the second deadly blaze in South Korea in two days. Seven people were killed and about 40 injured in a fire at a bus terminal in Goyang city, north of Seoul.