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South Korea: Fire guts over 60 homes, hundreds evacuated



South Korea: Fire guts over 60 homes, hundreds evacuated

Hundreds of people have had to be evacuated after a fire broke out in a shanty town in South Korea’s capital, Seoul.

Roughly 60 homes are reported to have been destroyed in Friday morning’s blaze in Guryong Village.

There have been no reports of deaths or injuries.

South Korean media has described the area of closely packed makeshift homes as the capital’s last remaining slum.


It took more than 900 firefighters and several helicopters five hours to put out the blaze.

South Korea’s President called for all available firefighters to be deployed to the blaze.

“Right after I opened the door, I saw the blaze rising from one side,” one 72-year-old resident told Newsmen.

“It looks really serious and I shouldn’t escape alone. So, I banged on the doors and shouted’ And people came out and screamed. It was chaotic.”

According to his spokeswoman, President Yoon Suk-yeol called for all-out efforts to minimize the damage and mobilize all available fighters and equipment.


Mr. Yoon is currently in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum summit at Davos.

The exact cause of the blaze is still unknown, but the area has also been prone to fires and floods, with many homes built using cardboard and wood. According to the Korea Times, Guryong Village has suffered at least 16 fires since 2009.

It took hundreds of firefighters more than five hours to put out the blaze

It was formed in the 1980s by people evicted from their original neighborhoods by redevelopment projects under the military government of the time, but efforts to develop the area have been frustrated by disagreements between local governing bodies and residents.


Guryong Village is on the edge of the affluent Gangnam district, which has some of the country’s most expensive real estate.

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