About 500 people evacuated after fire erupts in Seoul slum

by IANS |

Seoul, Jan 20 (IANS) About 500 people were evacuated on Friday due to a fire in Guryong Village, the last remaining slum in Seoul, fire authorities said.

The blaze broke out at 6.28 a.m. in the fourth district of the village, located in Seoul's Gangnam Ward, Yonhap News Agency quoted the authorities as saying.

No deaths or injuries have been reported so far, a fire official of the Gangnam Fire Station told reporters.

Around 60 houses are presumed to have burned down.

A total 170 firefighters, 300 government officials and 260 police officers were dispatched to the site, the official said.

Currently, there are around 666 households in the village, and most of the buildings are improvised structures with vinyl plywood panels.

President Yoon Suk-yeol called for maximum efforts in the mobilization of all available firefighters and equipment to ensure there are no casualties.

Interior Minister Lee Sang-min also ordered officials to prevent any secondary damage and protect residents living nearby.

The village is located in the southern part of Gangnam Ward, which has the country's most expensive real estate.

It was formed in the 1980s, when poor residents of the region were forced to move out of their homes as the city carried out development projects.

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