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Police: SKorean fire likely caused by electrical fault

Police investigators inspect a burnt hospital after a fire in Miryang, South Korea, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. A fire raced through the small South Korean hospital with no sprinkler system on Friday, killing 37 people, many of them elderly, and injuring more than 140 others in the country's deadliest blaze in about a decade. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
January 27, 2018 - 3:08 AM

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - A hospital fire that killed 37 people in South Korea was most likely caused by an electrical fault in the first-floor emergency room, police said Saturday.

A joint investigation carried out by police, fire services and forensic experts concluded that a fault in the electrical system in the ceiling of the emergency room's pantry most likely sparked Friday's blaze in the southern city of Miryang, said Kim Han-su, a police official there.

The blaze was South Korea's deadliest in more than a decade.

President Moon Jae-in visited the site Saturday and vowed to raise safety standards for hospitals. He also met with the victims' grieving relatives.

Officials say the six-floor facility did not have sprinklers because it wasn't big enough to be required by law to have such systems.

Police said 34 of the dead were women and 26 were aged 80 or older.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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