Seven killed in Seoul studio complex fire

PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Seven tenants were killed and 11 others injured early yesterday when a blaze ripped through a three-storey studio complex in Seoul, the fire authorities said. The dead and injured were mostly casual labourers or street vendors in their 40s to 60s, living in the dilapidated building which had no sprinklers, Yonhap news agency said. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, many people who have missed out on its progress struggle to get by. Low-income tenants often live in buildings with tiny single-bed studios once favoured by applicants preparing for various state examinations and known as goshiwon. With their labyrinthine structures and narrow corridors, goshiwon buildings are notoriously vulnerable to blazes, with more than 250 breaking out over the past five years. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'Seven killed in Seoul studio complex fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe