Photo released by Newsis shows policemen carrying the injured to a hospital in southern South Korea, early morning on May 28, 2014 (local time). Twenty-one people were killed and seven others injured in a fire at a hospital in southern South Korea early Wednesday. (Xinhua/Newsis)
SEOUL, May 28 (Xinhua) -- At least 21 people were killed and seven others were injured when a fire broke out at a sanatorium in southern South Korea early Wednesday, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing police and fire officials.
Firefighters had extinguished the large flames at the sanatorium's annex building in Jangseong, South Korea's South Jeolla Province in about 30 minutes, officials said, but the building was still filled with heavy smoke, which might have caused asphyxial or poisoning death of the patients.
The fire took place at 00:27 a.m. local time, Yonhap reported.
The nursing home had around 30 to 40 patients plus employees. About 10 patients on the first floor managed to evacuate soon after the fire started, but some 30 patients on the second floor failed to escape.
Most of the patients were in their 70s and 80s lying in bed, having little or less mobility, Yonhap reported.
As six wounded are in critical condition, the death toll may rise, local police said.
The cause of the fire still remains unknown.
The accident comes a day after seven people were killed and 41 others injured in a fire at a bus terminal in the country's Goyang city.