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Parties call for all-out efforts to handle aftermath of hospital fire

Political parties called Friday for the government to make every effort to handle the aftermath of a hospital fire in the city of Miryang, which left more than 30 people dead.

In a rare show of unity, senior officials of the ruling and opposition parties traveled to the city, about 380 kilometers southeast of Seoul, to offer their condolences to the victims and their families, and assess the extent of the damages.

"We hope that all-out efforts are made to prevent additional victims," Kim Hyun, the spokeswoman of the ruling Democratic Party, said. "We urge the authorities to mobilize all available personnel and equipment to handle the aftermath of the fire."

Kim Hyun (Yonhap)
Kim Hyun (Yonhap)

The blaze came a little over a month after a fire engulfed a sports center in the central city of Jecheon, killing 29 people. On Monday, the government pledged to carry out sweeping measures to enhance public safety.

Voicing "deep sorrow" over the tragic deaths, Choung Tae-ok, the spokesman of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, requested that the government spare no effort to thoroughly take care of the accident.

"We cannot help but feel flabbergasted," he told reporters. "There must not be any negligence in the rescue operations."

Lee Heang-ja, the spokeswoman of the minor opposition People's Party, demanded that the government check if its public safety management mechanism is working properly.

"We feel deeply saddened that a fire occurred again when citizens' sorrow over the Jecheon fire still lingers," she said. (Yonhap)

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