South Korea hospital fire kills at least 39 people

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At least 39 people have been killed and more than 70 injured in a fire at a hospital in South Korea.

The blaze is thought to have started in the emergency room at Sejong Hospital in the south-eastern city of Miryang.

About 200 patients were inside the building and an adjoining nursing home at the time.

It is South Korea’s deadliest fire in almost a decade and the death toll is expected to rise with several of the injured in critical condition.

Firefighters said the victims appeared to have died from smoke inhalation. Hospital medical staff, including a doctor and a nurse, are among the victims.

Authorities have given varying death tolls, with fire officials confirming 39 victims to the BBC, but police announcing 41 dead.

Miryang is about 270km (168 miles) south-east of the capital, Seoul.

The hospital specialised in caring for elderly people with long-term needs, as well as other patients, reported the daily JoongAng Ilbo.

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