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  1. ITV Report

South Korea hospital fire leaves at least 37 dead and scores injured in Miryang

Rescue teams carry a body from the hospital after the fire. Credit: AP

More than 30 people have been killed after a fire swept through a hospital for the elderly in southeastern South Korea in one of the country's deadliest blazes in recent years.

Fire official Choi Man-wu said the blaze at Sejong Hospital in the city of Miryang killed 37 people and injured more than 100, 18 of whom are in a critical condition.

The fire started from the first floor emergency room of the hospital at 7.35am and was extinguished at 10.26am, Mr Choi said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

He said a total of 194 people had been hospitalised in two buildings of Sejong Hospital, including 94 elderly people who were in the nursing hospital, before the fire broke out.

President Moon Jae-in's office said Moon convened an emergency meeting with top advisers to discuss the fire.

Firefighters work as smoke billows from a hospital in Miryang, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Credit: PA

Sejong Hospital has a nursing hospital for the elderly and also offers regular medical services.

South Korea is one of the fastest-ageing countries in the world and has many nursing hospitals, which are preferred for elderly people who need long-term care.

The fire started from the first floor emergency room. Credit: PA

Several recent fires in South Korea have been deadly.

In late December, 29 people were killed in a building fire in central Seoul, which was the country's deadliest blaze over the past decade before the hospital fire. Last weekend, a fire at a Seoul motel killed six people.

In 2014, a fire set by an 81-year-old dementia patient killed 21 at another hospital for the elderly.