38 construction workers killed in warehouse conflagration

Police in South Korea have raided the headquarters of an unnamed construction company after a fire killed 38 workers who were building a warehouse in the city of Icheon on Wednesday.

In an emergency meeting to discuss the deadly blaze, President Moon Jae-in ordered an investigation into why enhanced fire safety measures did not work.

Police will scour construction plans to determine whether work on the four-storey building, nearly complete, had been carried out properly.

Authorities believe the fire started on the second underground floor and involved urethane foam, used for insulation, during the installation of a freight elevator.

Firefighters quelled the blaze in about five hours, and then used excavators to comb the wreckage for missing workers in a search that ended yesterday.

Ten other people were injured, eight seriously.

Nine of the deceased could not be identified, leading police to collect DNA samples.

Image ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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