Japanese among 10 killed in fire at S Korea shooting range
Saturday 14th November, 08:06 PM JST
Ten people died and six were injured in a fire at an indoor shooting range in the South Korean port city of Busan on Saturday, according to local police.
The fire broke out around 2:25 p.m. and swept through the second-floor shooting range before being extinguished about 40 minutes later, according to police.
A group of nine Japanese men belonging to a tour group were at the range at the time of the fire, and at least two Japanese have been confirmed among the dead, police said.
According to the Japanese Consulate General in Busan, a South Korean woman who was serving as a guide for the group also suffered serious injuries.
Most of the dead were believed to have died from severe burns and toxic smoke inhalation, according to Yonhap News Agency.
‘‘A black column of smoke soared into the sky right after a sudden bang near the shooting range,’’ Yonhap quoted witness Keum Seong Hwan as saying. ‘‘A group of Japanese tourists ran out of the building with fire on their bodies.’‘
The fire authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze, and working to identify the dead and injured. However, since identification is proving difficult, DNA analysis is expected to be used.
A local hospital said the injured Japanese were born in 1972 and identified as Akira Shimada, Masaru Kasahara and Yohei Harada.
According to Yonhap, other Japanese tourists at the shooting range were identified as Hideteru Ariki, 36, Atsunobu Inada, 37, Akira Okubo, 37, Kazunobu Nakao, 37, Taiki Maeda, 37, and Hidetaka Miyazaki, 36.
According to relatives of the nine men, the Japanese tourists are a group of elementary school classmates from Unzen city in the prefecture.
A tour agency in Nagasaki Prefecture said the group crossed over to South Korea by ferry earlier in the day and was scheduled to head home on Sunday.
Meanwhile, at the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Singapore, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told South Korean President Lee Myung Bak that he learned of the fire from news reports and requested cooperation in confirming the safety of the Japanese nationals at the shooting range.
Lee responded by saying, ‘‘Let’s work together.’’
© 2009 Kyodo News. All rights reserved. No reproduction or republication without written permission.
Fire at indoor SKorean shooting range kills 10
Posted on November 14, 2009 at 4:32 AM
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Police say at least 10 people are dead after a fire blazed through an indoor shooting range in Busan (boo-sahn), South Korea.
Six others were injured, including some who are in critical condition. Police say seven Japanese tourists were inside the facility when the fire broke out, but it's not clear if they're among the dead or injured.
An official at the National Emergency Management Agency says it took nearly 40 minutes to put out the fire.
Officials are working to figure out what sparked the flames.
10 people, including several Japanese tourists, killed in Busan fire: police
The fire broke out at about 2:26 p.m. local time, and was extinguished at around 3:04 p.m, police said.
The death toll may rise, because some of those injured were in serious condition, police added.
Shooting range fire kills at least 10
BUSAN, South Korea, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A fire that swept through a South Korean indoor shooting range killed at least 10 people, officials said Saturday.
Seven others were hurt in the fire in the southern port city of Busan, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, adding that several victims were thought to be Japanese tourists.
Police said the cause of the fire, which started about 2:30 p.m. Saturday and was extinguished 40 minutes later, was under investigation.
They indicated the death toll may rise.
"Those injured are now receiving medical treatment, but they got severely burned ... . The death toll may rise," one police officer told Yonhap.
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