SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean emergency officials on Tuesday said that at least six people were missing and dozens of nearby households forced to evacuate following the partial collapse of a high-rise apartment building that was under construction in the city of Gwangju.
Jo Ho-ik, a Gwangju fire department official, said rescue workers temporarily stopped searching in the evening for the missing people — believed to be all construction workers on the site — because of concerns that the structure could crumble further. He said workers could possibly resume searching on Wednesday depending on the outcome of a safety inspection.
Emergency workers rescued three laborers, including two who had been trapped in a shipping container pounded by rubble, after the exterior wall of the 39-floor structure partially collapsed Tuesday afternoon. One of the workers who were rescued was treated for minor injuries, Jo said.
The collapse destroyed at least 10 vehicles that were parked below and forced emergency officials to evacuate 109 families and around 90 shops in nearby buildings. Officials were investigating the cause of the collapse.
Officials said 394 workers had been employed at the construction site, including the six who remain out of contact following the accident.