At Least 29 People Dead in South Korea Fire at Jecheon Fitness Centre

Photo via Allkpop

On Thursday, a fire broke out at an eight-story building in Jecheon, the central South Korean city, leaving at least 29 people dead and injuring 29 others, said the officials.

An official from the Jecheon fire department said that the toll could increase as rescuers proceed to search through the building after putting out the fire. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing rules of his office.

He said that many of the people who died in the accident had been using a public bath on the 2nd and 3rd floors, which made it more difficult for them to escape.

Organisers for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics said that on Friday, the Olympic torch relay had been supposedly scheduled to pass through Jecheon. However, the route has been revised due to the tragedy.

Local media showed various firefighters battling the blaze with helicopters and trucks, and a man was seen jumping from a window as firefighters were holding a mattress below.

It is not yet clear what caused the fire. However, according to fire officials, it likely started at the parking lot of the building. The officials said that the building had various restaurants and leisure facilities, including the public bath, an indoor golf practice facility, and a gym.