News World Asia Helicopter called in to rescue hundreds from burning high-rise

Helicopter called in to rescue hundreds from burning high-rise

ulsan korea high rise tower fire
The fire broke out somewhere between the tower's eighth and 12th floors, and spread rapidly. Photo: Twitter
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Hundreds of people have been evacuated after a massive blaze erupted in a high-rise tower in the southern South Korea city of Ulsan.

Footage shows flames engulfing the 33-storey Samhwan Art Nouveau commercial and residential tower.

It reportedly started about 11pm on Thursday (local time) and was spread by high winds.

South Korea’s Yonap news agency said hundreds of people were evacuated, including some by helicopter from the roof. Dozens were suffering the effects of smoke inhalation, and at least 77 people were taken to hospital.

“Suddenly, the fire came up. The windows were broken and the living room and bedroom lit up,” an eyewitness said.

Another “exterior material”, possibly insulation, attached to the outside of the building helped the fire to spread quickly.

The fire broke out between the building’s eighth and 12th floors of the building. Falling debris also ignited a blaze at a nearby supermarket, but it was quickly extinguished.

On Friday, firefighters were searching for anyone who might still be inside.

The tower had more than 120 residential apartments and dozens of commercial premises.

-with agencies