A five-story building that was being demolished in the South Korean city of Gwangju on Wednesday collapsed and fell on top of a bus, killing nine of its 17 passengers. The cause of the collapse is not yet known.
South Korea’s National Fire Agency confirmed that pieces of the building’s debris had hit the bus, which had stopped on a nearby street.
Rescue teams rescued eight survivors from the bus, including the driver. All were found in serious condition. The agency said in a statement that the teams were then able to uncover the nine bodies and exhume them.
According to fire officer Kim Seok-sun, all construction workers in the building were no longer inside the building before the collapse, explaining that some of them told investigators that they closed a pedestrian street near the building before it collapsed.
Officials with the National Fire Agency said relief teams are still searching for people who may be trapped under the rubble.
Pictures were taken by citizens, as well as by local South Korean media, as cement blocks fell on the bus and filled the street with dust.
In another video clip after the building collapsed, dozens of rescue workers were seen carrying stretchers and crowbars trying to find survivors among the rubble, while bulldozers removed huge piles of concrete and twisted metal beams lumped in the middle of the road.
Heartbreaking because it was tragic. 9 killed and 8 seriously injured when a building collapsed in a demolition on a bus inside the city (시내 버스) in Gwangju https://t.co/rx4izRDfqb
– sun (haromame) June 9, 2021
building in gwangju, #South Korea It collapsed during its demolition. At least 9 people were reported killed and 8 seriously injured, most of whom were passengers of a bus in front of the building pic.twitter.com/AnM1YAWCzu
– Smriti Sharma (@SmritiS24856750) June 9, 2021