20 killed in South Korean battery plant fire

At least 20 bodies were found as firefighters battled huge flames at a three-story battery factory in South Korea on Monday, firefighters said.

According to Yonhap news, firefighters brought the blaze under control around 3:10 p.m. local time, more than four hours after it started, and made their way into the plant and found the bodies.

The major fire broke out at a manufacturing facility of lithium battery maker Aricell in Hwaseong, just south of capital Seoul.

The deceased are believed to be among 23 people unaccounted for in the fire, the firefighters said. Of the people missing, 20 are believed to be foreigners, including Chinese nationals.

President Yoon Suk Yeol had issued emergency instructions to mobilize all available personnel and equipment to focus on searching for and rescuing people.

Interior and Safety Minister Lee Sang-min had also asked relevant government agencies and local governments to mobilize all available resources and personnel to extinguish the fire and rescue survivors.

The fire spread rapidly as the battery cells inside exploded continuously, making it difficult for rescuers to go inside and search.

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