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Two in flooded basement parking lot found alive

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Sept. 6, 2022 - 21:35

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This photo shows an unidentified man rescued after fire authorities' rescue operations on Tuesday at a basement parking lot in an apartment complex in Pohang, a port city in North Gyeongsang Province. (Gyeongbuk Fire Service Headquarters) This photo shows an unidentified man rescued after fire authorities' rescue operations on Tuesday at a basement parking lot in an apartment complex in Pohang, a port city in North Gyeongsang Province. (Gyeongbuk Fire Service Headquarters)

Two out of seven reported to be missing in an underground parking lot of an apartment complex were found alive and conscious as of 9:41 p.m. after spending hours in the flooded space in Pohang, one of the heaviest-stricken region with the passing of Typhoon Hinnamnor, fire and rescue authorities said Tuesday.

Soon after the announcement, three more were found and sent to a local hospital but remain unconscious, but they turned out not to be among the seven who went missing at the underground parking space, according to the authorities.

At around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, the 39-year-old man, who was not identified by name to the public, was found holding onto a stationary pipe and was making his way toward the entrance of the parking lot -- a sign that there was breathing room in the flooded basement.

An hour and a half later, a 51-year-old women was found alive with symptoms of hypothermia.

Heavy rain caused by Typhoon Hinnamnor flooded the port city in North Gyeongsang Province that is 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul on Tuesday morning.

The seven people were in the underground basement in their residential building to move their parked cars as a precautionary measure in light of the bad weather, but were caught unaware by the flash flood and were reported missing at 7:41 a.m. There were some 100 cars in the parking lot.

President Yoon Suk-yeol described the rescue as being "miraculous," and pledged to "go all out in supporting the rescue operation in hopes of another miraculous rescue," the presidential office said in a statement immediately after the rescue of the 39-year-old.

Following the rescue operations, three people were confirmed dead across the nation, and four remained missing as of 10 p.m. The powerful typhoon exited the Korean Peninsula, moving eastward toward the sea later in the morning.

(consnow@heraldcorp.com)