Over 20 dead following fire at South Korean battery factory

A fire at a lithium battery factory near South Korea’s capital has left at least 22 people dead, eight others injured and several missing, officials said.

Rescue workers at the factory in Hwaseong city, just south of Seoul, retrieved the bodies after combing through the site, local fire official Kim Jin-young told a televised briefing.

The dead included 18 Chinese, two South Koreans and one Laotian, Mr Kim told a televised briefing. He said the nationality of one of the dead could not be immediately verified.

He said that two of the eight injured were in serious conditions.

Mr Kim earlier said most of the missing people were foreign nationals, including Chinese citizens.

He said the mobile phone signals of the missing people were tracked to the second floor of the factory.

South Korean media reported that much of the blaze has been put out. The exact cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Mr Kim said a total of 102 people were working at the factory before the fire occurred.

South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol earlier ordered officials to mobilise all available personnel and equipment to find survivors.

The country’s prime minister Han Duck-soo and interior and safety minister Lee Sang-min visited the site later on Monday. Mr Han asked officials to provide government assistance for funeral services and support programmes for victims’ relatives, according to his office.

TV footage also showed the president, wearing a safety helmet and a mask, visiting the site with other officials.

Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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