Fire in South Korean apartment high-rise hurts at least 88

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A fire spread up a high-rise apartment building by strong winds in a South Korean port city left scores of people with minor injuries, officials said yesterday.

Footage from the scene in Ulsan showed a huge ball of orange flame soaring up the 33-floor building and shooting through the roof as firefighting crews tried to put out the blaze from below.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries. Hundreds of residents evacuated as the fire broke out while workers rescued another 77 who had escaped to the roof or other spaces.

South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety said at least 88 people were treated for minor injuries such as scratches or lightly inhaling smoke.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire, which they said started at a balcony in one of the lower floors late on Thursday and spread up the exterior of the building amid strong winds. The fire was nearly put out as of 9am yesterday.

Flames and smoke rise from a fire at an apartment building in Ulsan. PHOTO: AFP