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Thursday 2 October 2014

Roof collapse kills 10 at college

Published 18/02/2014 | 04:57

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The roof an auditorium collapsed during a welcoming ceremony for university students in Gyeongju, South Korea (AP)

A resort auditorium's roof loaded down with snow and rain collapsed during a welcoming ceremony for South Korean university students, killing 10 and injuring more than 100.

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Emergency staff worked through the night to pull people from beneath twisted metal and other debris and rush the injured on stretchers to waiting ambulances. Snow, sleet and icy roads hampered rescue operations.

The collapse happened last night. About 560 students from Busan University of Foreign Studies had gathered for a two-day orientation event for first years at the Manua Ocean Resort in Gyeongju when a crack appeared in the auditorium ceiling before the collapse.

Recent heavy snow combined with rain probably put too much pressure on the structure, said Kim In-you, a fire rescue squad team leader for the Busan fire department.

Ten people died, two people were seriously injured and 103 lightly injured, said Jung Yoon-han, director of the disaster management department at the ministry of security and public administration.

The students had just finished dinner and were gathering for recreational activities at the time of the collapse, Byun Ki-chan, head of the international exchange department at the university, said.

Some managed to escape after noticing a crack in the roof but others could not leave in time, he said.

Gyeongju is a historic city and popular tourist destination that served as the capital of one of the Korean Peninsula's ancient kingdoms.

Located at an altitude of about 1,640ft, the resort is at the foot of Dongdae Mountain, according to the resort's website. Weather officials said the area has received heavy snow over the last week.

AP

Press Association

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