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Death toll climbs to 4 in Daejeon outlet mall fire

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Firefighters use a hose to put out a fire at Hyundai Premium Outlet in the central city of Daejeon, Sept. 26. Yonhap
Firefighters use a hose to put out a fire at Hyundai Premium Outlet in the central city of Daejeon, Sept. 26. Yonhap

The death toll from an outlet mall fire in the central city of Daejeon has risen to four, officials said Monday, amid fears more deaths could come, as a search is under way for two missing people.

The blaze is believed to have started from the basement parking lot at Hyundai Premium Outlet in Daejeon, about 160 kilometers south of Seoul, at 7:45 a.m. and spread quickly on cardboard boxes, sending dark smoke filling the entire floor, according to witnesses and survivors.

This photo shows a fire that broke out at an outlet mall in the central city of Daejeon, Sept. 26. Yonhap
This photo shows a fire that broke out at an outlet mall in the central city of Daejeon, Sept. 26. Yonhap

Two men, one in his 50s and the other in his 30s, were found with serious injuries and sent to a hospital, but later pronounced dead in the morning. Two more people died later, while a search is under way for two others, according to the officials.

Some 110 people, mostly customers at nearby accommodation buildings and employees, evacuated. No outlet customers were around, as the fire broke before the mall's business hours.

More than 126 personnel and 40 pieces of firefighting equipment were combating the fire, but firefighters were having difficulties in the search operation due to massive amounts of smoke issued from burning paper boxes in the mall's underground cargo handling area.

This photo provided by a reader shows a fire at Hyundai Premium Outlet in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. Yonhap
This photo provided by a reader shows a fire at Hyundai Premium Outlet in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. Yonhap

Fire authorities are conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the fire, including the possibility of the explosion of an electric car that was being charged in an underground parking garage. (Yonhap)




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