SEOUL, South Korea – A five-story building demolished in southern South Korea collapsed on Wednesday, dropping rubbish on a bus and killing nine people on board, officials said.
Concrete from the collapsed building in the southern city of Gwangju fell on the bus with 17 people stopping in a nearby street, the national fire department said.
Emergency officials dispatched to the scene rescued eight people from the bus, all seriously injured, before discovering the nine bodies, the agency said in a statement.
Firefighter Kim Seok-sun said at a television briefing on the site that all workers on the building site had been evacuated before its collapse. He said some of the workers told investigators that they had closed a pedestrian path near the building before the crash.
Fire department officials said emergency officials are still searching for other people who may have been trapped under the rubble. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
Kim said the bus driver was among the injured. Authorities did not immediately provide information about the other injured or dead.
An earlier statement from the fire department said the debris also fell on two passenger vehicles. But agency officials later corrected it after watching security videos.
Local media showed the debris falling into the bus and engulfing the street in a huge cloud of dust. A post-collapse video showed dozens of rescue workers being equipped with porters and crowbars searching for survivors while excavators on a large mountain crumbled concrete and hacked bent steel beams spilling across the highway.
By Hyung-Jin Kim