At least 28 die in fire at fitness center in South Korea

Fire reportedly started in car in underground carpark

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At least 28 people died in a fire in Jecheon, South Korea.

At least 28 people died in a fire in Jecheon, South Korea. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At least 28 people died and 26 were injured when a fire raged through an eight-story building in the central South Korean town of Jecheon Thursday.

The blaze reportedly started around 3 p.m. in a car inside the underground parking lot, but rapidly spread to catch people inside a public bath on the second and third floors of the tower block, rescue services said.

The death toll was climbing as teams worked their way through the building once the fire was extinguished, reports said.

The fire department rushed 50 trucks to the scene and also mobilized two helicopters, while a man was reportedly seen jumping out of the building on to a mattress held by rescuers below.

The building housed a fitness center, a sauna, public baths and other entertainment facilities, reports said. Jecheon lies about 160 kilometers southeast of the capital, Seoul.