Fire, at South Korean hospital for elderly leaves 21 dead

Share Button

HospitalAn investigator stands in a window of the fire-damaged Hyosarang hospital near Janseong.

A fire broke out at a nursing home in South Korea early Wednesday, leaving 21 dead and 8 injured, the latest in a series of high-casualty incidents.

The fire took place overnight in Jangseong, a few hours south of the capital Seoul. The semi-official Yonhap News Agency reported that an 82-year-old man was detained for questioning on suspicion of having committed arson.

he Hyosarang (“Filial Love” in Korean) nursing home reportedly has 320 residents, including elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other chronic ailments. Among the dead were 20 patients and one nurse.

Local media quoted families of those who died, saying that their deceased relatives had trauma on their wrists and ankles, indicating that they struggled to escape the blaze, but were tied to their beds.

An official from the local fire station that responded to the blaze told the Joongang Ilbo newspaper that no evidence was found of the hospital’s residents having been tied down. The same official said that the building’s windows were barred to prevent accidents, but that Hyosarang hadn’t received the proper permit before installing them and that an investigation would be forthcoming.

Share Button