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Market passage in eastern S. Korea collapses after heavy snowfall

The main roof of an outdoor market in eastern South Korea collapsed under the weight of snowfall on Wednesday afternoon, but all nine people trapped under the wreckage were rescued, emergency authorities said.

The plastic makeshift roof of the market in Samcheok, about 290 kilometers east of Seoul, broke down at around 2:30 p.m., injuring seven people, while two others came out unscratched, the authorities said.

"As soon as the accident took place, we rescued seven residents who were wounded from the collapse. No casualties have been reported so far," an official said. "We are looking into whether there are more people trapped, but no one is believed to be there now."

Witnesses said the roof cracked down while residents were clearing snow around the market, home to 37 privately-owned shops that suffered damage from the record snow.

Emergency staff and soldiers, who were helping with snow removal, were immediately mobilized for rescue efforts and evacuated about 200 people in case of an additional collapse, they noted.

Up to 100 centimeters of snow pounded Samcheok and other east coastal areas in Gangwon Province for three days until early Tuesday, the most snow since record-keeping began in 1911, isolating households in remote villages, devastating farms, temporarily closing schools and forcing massive flight cancellations. Samcheok had 110 centimeters of snow during the period.

Source: yonhapnews
Tags: accident
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