Man survives leap from eight-story building engulfed by fire


This is the dramatic moment a jumped from an eight-story building that had been engulfed by fire.

But the man’s fall was broken by firefighters with an air mattress after he leaped from the tower block in Jecheon, South Korea.

The horrific fire claimed the lives of 29 people, most of them taking a sauna. It is not known how badly the man was injured.

All but one of the victims had been identified last night, including 20 women who were overcome by toxic fumes in a sauna on the second floor.

Jecheon fire chief Lee Sang-min said: “Our crew on the scene said the lockers inside the facility were installed like a labyrinth and it’s a glass building with few windows, which apparently made way for the smoke from the first floor to quickly fill up the second floor.”

President Moon Jae-in said he was devastated and promised a full investigation.

He said: “The government as a whole will thoroughly probe this accident cause and process of response, and although after the fact, the investigation and measures will be such that, at least, there will not be lingering deep sorrow.”

Anger mounted at reports of shoddy construction, broken doors and other problems that may have contributed to the deaths.

One man shouted at officials visiting survivors in hospital, complaining that firefighters failed to break through to the trapped women in time.

Flames and smoke billow from an eight-story building after a fire broke out in Jecheon,Getty Images

Media reported that a glass door leading to the sauna had not been working properly for more than a month, and that emergency stairs were often used for storage.

“Nothing has changed even after the Sewol tragedy,” parliament member Ahn Cheol-soo said.

“I just cannot understand why the same type of accidents happen over and over again,” he said, according to the Yonhap news agency.


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