Seoul — Nine people were found dead and another eight are in critical condition after a five-storey building in southern South Korea collapsed.
The collapse, which occurred while the building was in the process of being demolished, caused debris to rain down on a bus that had made a pit stop at a station near the site.
According to reports, officials received word of the collapse at 4.22 pm. The collapse took place in Gwangju, a city located 270km southwest of Seoul.
Around 190 firefighters were involved in the search and rescue operation. South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety also said that police joined the effort.
It is not clear if anyone had been in the building when it collapsed.
While the firefighters initially assumed the bus had been carrying 12 passengers, they found more people trapped at the site as the search and rescue effort went on. As of 8.25 pm local time, 17 people were confirmed to be affected by the incident, including nine who were pronounced dead and eight who were rushed to nearby hospitals.
Two other cars were believed to have been buried under the rubble as well but authorities confirmed that they managed to escape the incident.
The 16 demolition workers who were at the site are reported to be safe and uninjured. Some of the workers also said that they had shut off a pedestrian path that was located near the site before the building had collapsed.
Officials from the fire agency said they were searching for other victims who might still be trapped under the rubble.
The reason for the collapse is still unclear. /TISGFollow us on Social Media
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