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Karaoke fire in Busan kills 9, injures 10

All Headlines 09:37 May 06, 2012

BUSAN, May 6 (Yonhap) -- Nine people were killed, including two foreigners, and 10 others injured when a fire raged through a karaoke facility in Busan, police said Sunday. The death toll could rise as two of the injured are in critical condition.

The blaze broke out in one of the 26 rooms at the karaoke lounge on the third floor of a six-story building in the southeastern port city around 8:55 p.m. Saturday, causing smoke to spread quickly through the facility and customers to panic, witnesses and police said.

Most of the fatal victims died from inhaling toxic gases, police said. The dead include two foreigners, one of them a 20-year-old Sri Lankan national. The identity of the other was not available.

Police said smoke apparently made customers unable to find exits and led to the large toll.

About 20 fire trucks and 100 firefighters battled the fire and extinguished it around 10 p.m.

Police said they are investigating what caused the fire based on witness accounts that a torrent of flames started with a bang sound.
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