SEOUL: At least seven people were killed and 41 injured in a fire at a bus terminal near the South Korean capital Seoul on Monday, Yonhap news agency reported, citing emergency officials.
It was the latest in a series of transport-linked accidents in the country, which is still reeling from the loss of around 300 people — mostly schoolchildren — in a ferry disaster last month. “Firefighters believe welding work at an underground restaurant might have caused the fire,” a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency told AFP.
Most of the deaths and injuries at the terminal at Goyang, northwest of Seoul, were the result of smoke inhalation, he said. The death toll could rise further given the number of people who were severely injured in the blaze, Yonhap said, citing fire and hospital officials.
The five-storey terminal building has several bays that can station 250 buses, and a multiplex composed of a shopping centre, a supermarket and a movie theatre. Firefighters took about 30 minutes to bring the blaze under control. As well as the ferry disaster in April, public confidence was shaken earlier this month by a subway train collision in Seoul that injured around 200 people.
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