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South Korea. Fire in the battery factory. There are many deaths

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At least 22 people, mostly Chinese citizens, died in a fire at a factory producing lithium batteries near Seoul, the BBC and the South Korean Yonhap news agency reported, citing emergency services.

A fire broke out at the Aricell lithium battery factory in Hwaseong, 45 km from the South Korean capital, on Monday around 10.30 (3.30 in Poland). It took until the afternoon to extinguish the fire. Footage from the scene showed small explosions and showers of sparks in the burning plant.

As a result of the fire, 22 workers died, two were seriously injured and six suffered minor injuries, Yonhap news agency reported. Among the confirmed victims, 20 are foreigners: 18 Chinese citizens and one Laotian, the nationality of one victim is unknown. All the dead were found on the second floor of building number 3, she added.

Fire at a factory producing lithium batteries near SeoulPAP/EPA

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According to authorities, the death toll may increase because one of the missing people is still missing, Yonhap reported.

“Most of the bodies have severe burns, so it will take some time to identify each victim,” local fire brigade official Kim Jin-young told AFP.

There may have been at least 100 employees in the factory when the fire broke out.

Leading manufacturer

The BBC recalled that South Korea is a leading producer of lithium batteries, which are used in many devices: from electric vehicles to laptops.

Fire at a factory producing lithium batteries near Seoul PAP/EPA

There may have been 35,000 manufactured batteries in the factory at the time of the fire.

It is still unclear what caused the fire. Lithium batteries can explode if damaged or overheated, the BBC added.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA

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