Highly fammable materials on the outside of a building in the town of Jecheon fuelled a tragic fire that killed 29 people on December 22, evoking comparisons with the Grenfell Tower disaster in London, UK.
The terrible blaze tore through an eight-storey tower in the southern city, killing 29 people and injuring 29 more. 20 of the dead were found at a female sauna and others elsewhere in the building, which also houses a gym and restaurants.
“My wife was screaming on the phone, asking for help, but she was coughing badly because of the smoke,” the husband of one of the victims who received a phone call from his wife, told Yonhap news.
The man, surnamed Yun, immediately called emergency services, but it was too late. “I called her back, but she did not answer this time,” he sadly continued.
Experts said the building was a “fire trap”, with not enough emergency exits, flammable cladding and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles.