At least seven people were killed in a fire that erupted in a shopping mall’s basement on Monday in Daejeon, South Korea, according to officials.
Go Seung-cheol, a representative of the Daejeon Fire Headquarters, stated that after putting out the fire, firefighters were still looking for survivors. He claimed that some areas of the structure were still filled with smoke and that it wasn’t immediately evident if there were any other persons missing.
More than 110 people were evacuated, including mall employees and guests at a nearby hotel, after the fire broke out at around 7:45 a.m. and quickly spread across the loading dock area of the basement. The damage might have been worse, according to officials, if the fire had erupted during the mall’s regular business hours.
More than 500 firefighters and 90 vehicles were deployed to fight the fire, which was extinguished at around 3 p.m., Go said.
Photos taken at the scene showed a cloud of dark-gray smoke rising from beneath the structure while firefighters extinguished the fire with water hoses and other tools.
Lee Seung-han, a fire official at the Yuseong fire department, said six of the people found dead were mall employees and that officials were still trying to identify the other victim. Lee and Go had no immediate comment about the cause of death.
The cause of the fire was being looked into by police and fire personnel. According to eyewitness accounts cited by the local media, the fire may have been caused by the explosion of an electric vehicle that was charging in the basement.