(LEAD) Building collapse in Gwangju leaves at least 9 people dead

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GWANGJU, June 9 (Yonhap) — A building collapsed during demolition in the southwestern city of Gwangju on Wednesday afternoon, leaving at least nine people dead and eight people seriously injured, fire officials said.

They received a report at 4:22 p.m. that the 5-story building had collapsed, burying a bus that was stopped at a station near the construction site.

As of 8:20 p.m., a total of 17 people are believed to have been affected by the accident — most of them bus passengers. Of them, nine people were confirmed dead and eight others were seriously injured and taken to nearby hospitals.

Two passenger cars were initially believed to have been also buried under the rubble, but the authorities later confirmed from closed-circuit video footage that they narrowly escaped the accident.

Rescuers are searching for any construction workers or pedestrians who might have been buried beneath the debris.

The cause of collapse is not immediately known.




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