South Korea building collapse kills students | News | DW | 18.02.2014
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South Korea building collapse kills students

At least 10 people have been killed and after the collapse of a university auditorium near the South Korean city of Gyeongju. The accident is believed to have been caused by a build up of snow on the roof.

South Korean officials said on Tuesday that at least 10 people attending a welcome party for new university students in the South Korean mountain resort had been killed in the collapse. Rescue efforts continued on Tuesday, with about a dozen more people thought to be trapped in the building.

Some 560 college students were attending the freshman orientation when the roof of the building caved in at around 9.30 p.m.

Initial investigations suggested that the collapse had been caused by the weight of snow that had piled up on the roof of the pre-engineered building.

"The ceiling came crashing down at the front near the stage," one student told the YTN television news channel.

More than 1,400 workers had been involved in rescue efforts through the night, using heavy equipment to clear away debris and snowfall. Fire officials said there was initial difficulty in reaching the area because of the unusually heavy snow.

Nine of the dead were said to be college students, with one event organizer also among the victims.

The auditorium belonged to the Mauna Ocean Resort, and was hosting the event for students from a foreign language college in the southern city of Busan. Resort owner the Kolon business group issued a swift public apology over the disaster, promising compensation and support for victims.

rc/jr (AFP, AP, Reuters)