Dozens killed in South Korean building fire

A fire at an eight-storey building in the central South Korean city of Jecheon has killed 28 people and injured 26 others.

A Jecheon fire department official said the death toll could rise as rescuers continue to search the building after putting out the fire.

He said many of the people who died had been using a public bath on the second and third floors, which made it harder for them to escape.

Smoke rises as firefighters try to extinguish the blaze (Kim Hyung-woo/Yonhap via AP)

Organisers for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics said the Olympic torch relay had been scheduled to pass through Jecheon on Friday, but the route has been revised as a result of the tragedy.

Local media showed firefighters battling the blaze with trucks and helicopters, and a man jumping from a window as firefighters held a mattress below.

It was unclear what caused the fire but it is likely to have started at the building’s car park, according to fire officials.

The building had several restaurants and leisure facilities, including a gym, the public bath and an indoor golf practice facility, officials said.

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