At least 10 people, including nine university students, were killed and dozens injured when the roof of an auditorium fell on more than 500 foreign language students who were gathered for a freshman orientation event in the city of Gyeongju.
Many of the students were able to safely evacuate the building, but media reports say about 70 were sent to hospitals with injuries.
One of the survivors of the collapse described how everyone ran to a back door when they heard the building beginning to collapse.
"There was only one door in the back," he said. "Everyone ran toward the door, but the collapsing speed was way too fast. With the sound of the collapse, we got buried.''
South Korean officials speculate heavy snow on the roof of the building may have caused the collapse. Rescue workers had difficulty reaching the building because of the recent snow.