South Korean rescuers pull body from collapsed construction site

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AP) – South Korean rescuers yesterday pulled a body from a heap of rubble at the construction site of a 39-floor building that partially collapsed four days earlier in the southern city of Gwangju.

City officials said the man, one of six construction workers who were missing after Tuesday’s collapse, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Dozens of rescue workers assisted by dogs, drones and heavy equipment have been deployed in the search, but their efforts have been slowed by concerns about the stability of the apartment building in the city’s Hwajeongdong district.

About 10 vehicles were destroyed and the occupants of nearly 200 nearby houses and shops were forced to evacuate following the collapse, which sent debris spilling across nearby streets and left a huge pile of broken concrete at the bottom of the structure, exposing mangled steel beams.

The incident has triggered public anger in a country that has long grappled with deadly accidents attributed to lax safety standards and regulations, which experts said were often overlooked during South Korea’s rapid economic growth.

Rescuers search for workers who went missing in a construction site accident in Gwangju, South Korea. PHOTO: AP