22 dead in South Korea battery plant fire

SEOUL   -   Twenty- two people were killed in a massive fire at a South Korean lithium battery factory, the fire department said Monday, one of the country’s worst factory disasters in years. Over 100 people were working in the factory when workers heard a series of explosions from the second floor, where lithium-ion batteries were being inspected and packaged, firefighter Kim Jin-young told media. In the massive blaze that ensued, twenty-two people were killed, including 20 foreign nationals, he said. “Most of the bodies are badly burned so it will take some time to identify each one,” he added. Firefighters are still searching for one more person who remains unaccounted for, he said, adding that they had managed to contain the largest blaze at the plant and get inside. Firefighters were “doing cooling operations to prevent the fire from expanding to nearby factories,” Kim said. Dozens of fire trucks were lined up outside the factory, an AFP reporter saw, with rescue workers carrying bodies, covered by blue blankets, out of the building on stretchers.

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