17 Chinese nationals feared dead in South Korea battery plant blaze

by IANS |

Seoul, June 25 (IANS) South Korean fire department officials have said that around 17 Chinese nationals were killed in the massive fire at a battery plant in Hwaseong, city south of Seoul, but the exact figures still need to be further confirmed.

South Korean officials, including Gyeonggi Province Second Vice Governor Oh Who-seok, Hwaseong City Mayor Jeong Myeong-geun, and officials from the fire department, briefed Chinese Ambassador to South Korea, Xing Haiming, late on Monday on the accident and the progress of the search and rescue efforts at the scene.

South Korean officials said the accident has killed 22 people, 17 of them presumably to be Chinese nationals. Eight other people were injured, including one Chinese who was slightly wounded, and all the injured have been properly treated. Firemen are still searching for the missing, Xinhua news agency reported.

The South Korean side deeply mourns the tragic death of Chinese citizens in the accident and will assist China in doing its utmost to rescue and deal with the aftermath.

Xing urged the South Korean side to find out the cause of the accident as soon as possible, properly deal with the aftermath, and provide all necessary support for the families of the Chinese victims.

Xing told media at the scene that the Chinese embassy is working with the South Korean side to do its best to deal with the accident's aftermath. It is hoped that South Korean businesses will learn a painful lesson, refrain from similar incidents in the future and earnestly safeguard the safety of Chinese citizens in South Korea.

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