Published on : Thursday, June 10, 2021
A five-story building being demolished in South Korea collapsed on Wednesday, burying a bus under the debris and killing nine people. Eight other people were seriously injured during the incident in the southern city of Gwangju. The reason for the collapse is not yet clear, and authorities have launched a probe into what happened.
The bus was carrying 17 people and was parked on a street below. The bus driver is among the injured. The fire officer Kim Seok-sun said that all workers at the building were evacuated before the collapse, and some of the workers said they had closed a pedestrian walkway near the building before the incident, according to the Associated Press.
The fire agency initially said that two passenger vehicles were also caught in the debris, but security footage later revealed that they narrowly escaped.
Yang Ik-je, who runs a shop across the street from where the building collapsed, told Yonhap news agency that he ran outside after hearing a noise that felt like the “earth was shaking.”
He said he had to check the CCTV because the dust had completely covered the road. He saw in the footage that the building had collapsed onto a bus, and immediately informed authorities.
The police has launched an investigation into the collapse. A police officer told The Korea Times that the probe will check whether workers were following safety rules during the demolition and if it was being carried out according to procedures. Gwangju mayor Lee Yong-seop has said the city government will inspect redevelopment sites to check if safety rules are enforced.