SEOUL: A resort building in the southeastern city of South Korea collapsed under the weight of heavy snow, killing at least 10 people and injuring more than 100 others, local media reported on Tuesday.
A gymnasium at the Mauna Ocean Resort in Gyeongju, some 370 km southeast of Seoul, caved in at around 9:15 p.m. local time Monday, according to police and fire authorities cited by local broadcaster YTN and Yonhap News Agency.
When the gymnasium collapsed, 565 students of the Busan University of Foreign Studies (BUFS) were participating in a reception party for freshmen.
As of 5:50 a.m. Tuesday, nine students and one party organizer died and 101 students were wounded, with 17 of them under treatment for serious injuries. Three students and 11 party organizers remained unaccounted for, with those estimated to be buried under the building yet.
The roof of the gymnasium caved in under the weight of heavy snow. Over the past week, the Gyeongju city and its surrounding areas had about 50 cm of snow. Police will launch a thorough investigation into the incident after the rescue operation is finished.
About 400 rescue workers, including fire and police officials and troops from nearby Marine Corps and Army units, were dispatched to the scene, but they had difficulty in rescue operation as the building is located at the top of the mountain and thick snow on the ground.
Most of rescue workers had to walk several hundred meters through the slippery and narrow road to the scene. PNA