“Inferno” fire in a slum in Seoul, the authorities evacuate 500 residents

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About 500 people were evacuated today from a slum in a sector of the South Korean capital Seoul where a fire broke out, the fire brigade announced. The fire broke out at 06:27 (local time; 23:27 yesterday Thursday Greek time) in the so-called Guryeong Village, an informal settlement in southern Seoul where more than 660 households live.

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About 40 buildings in the 1,700-square-meter site were destroyed, fire officials said. 290 firefighters, 10 helicopters and police officers tried to extinguish the fire. No casualties have been reported.

South Korean President Yoon Seok-geil, who is in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, called for a maximum effort to minimize damage and mobilize all available firefighting forces, his spokeswoman said.

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Interior Minister Lee Sang-min ordered an effort to prevent damage and prevent the fire from spreading to nearby residential areas, as reported by Reuters and relayed by the Athens News Agency.

Guryeong Village, one of Seoul’s last remaining slums, is for many a symbol of social inequalities in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

The area is prone to fires, floods and other disasters. Many of the houses are made of wood and cardboard. Residents face health problems and lack of security due to living conditions.

Plans to develop the area and move residents into subsidized housing have made little progress amid endless tug-of-war between the site’s legal owners, residents and authorities.

Source: News Beast

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