Thursday Sep 28, 2023
Thursday Sep 28, 2023

Massive blaze erupts in one of Seoul's last slums

2023 Jan 20, 14:49, Seoul
Firefighters work at scene of fire in Guryong village in Seoul. (Photo Source: ANI)

A massive blaze engulfed Guryong, one of the last remaining slums in South Korea's capital, Seoul, forcing authorities to evacuate around 500 people on Friday, CNN reported citing local fire authorities.

The fire broke out around 6:28 a.m today in the fourth district of the village and was extinguished around 11:50 a.m. local time, said Shin Yong-ho, an official with the Gangnam Fire Station, in a televised briefing, the American broadcast agency, CNN noted.

According to Shin, 60 dwellings are thought to have burned down. He added that most of the buildings were constructed from vinyl plywood panels.

Reportedly, the damage has been caused to an area of 2,700 square meters. No deaths or injuries have been reported so far.

Ten helicopters have been deployed to help with the response, and more than 800 response personnel, including firefighters, police officers, and government employees, have been mobilised to the site of the incident, according to Shin.

CNN reported citing Seoul's presidential office that South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who is currently attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, was informed of the incident and instructed authorities to mobilise "all available personnel and equipment."

Yoon requested local governments to evacuate residents and ensure the safety of rescue workers, according to the official statement of the presidential office.

Notably, the Guryong slum has long been regarded as a representation of the wealth and poverty divide in South Korea, the continent's fourth-largest economy. It is a section of the affluent, glitzy Gangnam neighbourhood, commonly referred to as Seoul's Beverly Hills and made popular by Psy's 2012 song "Gangnam Style." 


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