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Fire breaks out at Guryong village in Gangnam, 500 evacuated

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : Jan. 20, 2023 - 09:01

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Black smoke and flame soar in Guryong Village in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, where the fire broke out on Friday morning. (Yonhap) Black smoke and flame soar in Guryong Village in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, where the fire broke out on Friday morning. (Yonhap)

Firefighters extinguished a fire that broke out in Guryong Village in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, the only remaining slum area in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. The cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed.

At 11:46 a.m., the fire authorities announced that the fire has been completely extinguished. About 60 households were destroyed and 62 people lost their homes but no casualties have been confirmed. The exact property damage is under investigation. According to the Gangnam-gu Office, a total of 666 households are in the district.

Fire authorities said that the fire broke out near a church in Guryong Village District 4 at around 6:27 a.m. and spread to nearby houses. About 450 to 500 residents evacuated and 918 personnel, equipment including fire helicopters had been deployed to control the flames.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government sent an emergency text message saying, "Nearby residents need to evacuate immediately and move their vehicles,” and set up a police line around the fire to prevent further damage.

President Yoon Suk Yeol received a report of the fire in Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, and ordered that "all available personnel and equipment should be mobilized to put out the fire."

Interior and Safety Minister Lee Sang-min also ordered to fully mobilize all administrative forces and make all-out efforts to extinguish fires and save lives, while ensuring the safety of firefighters as well.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon went to the scene and asked for measures to prepare places for the victims to stay as soon as possible. Gangnam-gu Office said it has secured a total of 125 rooms at four nearby accommodations for residents whose homes have been burned down.