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(3rd LD) Four killed in Dongtan shopping mall fire

All Headlines 18:04 February 04, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with possible cause for fire in 7th para)

HWASEONG, Gyeonggi Province, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) -- Four people were killed Saturday as a fire broke out at a shopping mall connected to a couple of residential skyscrapers in Dongtan new town in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, fire authorities said.

The fire started at a kids park on the third floor of the four-story building at around 11 a.m., and it was brought under control after about 70 minutes.

No children were inside the 264-square-meter kids zone at the time, as it was in the middle of being demolished. There were a lot of combustible materials there that created toxic gases when burned.

Firefighters said they found the bodies of three men and one woman.

Plumes of smoke billow up from a shopping mall in Dongtan, a new town in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, as it caught fire on Feb. 4, 2017. (Yonhap)

Plumes of smoke were seen billowing from the building. Residents of the main Metapolis apartment complex were immediately evacuated.

Dozens of residents were sent to nearby hospitals for smoke inhalation but none are in critical condition, according to the authorities.

Investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the fire. Some welding work apparently underway inside the building was cited as a possible reason for the blaze.

Metapolis is a residential and commercial complex constructed in 2010. It includes four residential towers: two 66-story ones, one 60-story tower and another with 55 stories. They include a total of 1,266 households.

The fire occurred in the shopping mall linking two of the buildings.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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