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More bodies found in S. Korean subway

Anxious bystanders await news of casualties
Anxious bystanders await news of casualties

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A deadly fire broke out after a suspected arson attack in a subway station in the South Korean city of Daegu. CNN's Sohn Jie-Ae reports
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DAEGU, South Korea -- Up to 20 people have died after an arson attack in a subway station in the South Korean city of Daegu, according to South Korea's YTN television.

As many as 100 people are believed to be injured as firefighters struggled to free those still trapped underground, with thick billowing smoke and toxic gases hampering rescue efforts, according to officials.

Firefighters discovered the bodies of 14 subway employees trapped on a station platform, bringing the death toll up from five to around 20.

The number of casualties is also expected to increase dramatically, as firefighters scour the subway tracks and try to reach several trains stuck in the subway tunnels.

Police believe the fire was an arson attack, and are questioning a man witnesses saw throwing a milk carton filled with a flammable substance into a train.

"A man in his 40s dressed in a tracksuit set fire to a plastic milk carton containing a flammable liquid and threw it inside the subway train," a witness told Yonhap news agency.

"When the man tried to use a cigarette lighter to light the box, some passengers tried to stop him. Apparently a scuffle erupted and the box exploded into flames," The Associated Press reported one officer as saying.

Police officials in Daegu, 320 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Seoul, could not confirm the reports on casualties, but say the death toll could rise.

YTN, an all-news cable channel, reported that some of the injured were in a serious condition.

The single subway line runs through the center of Daegu, one of the five major cities in South Korea with a well-equipped emergency system.


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