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Fire Kills 29 People in South Korean City of Jecheon


A victim is carried by firefighters in Jecheon, South Korea, Dece. 21, 2017.

South Korea launched an investigation Friday into a fire that killed 29 people in the central city of Jecheon.

The National Fire Agency said most of the victims were killed in a sauna Thursday after the fire started in a vehicle and swept throughout the eight story building, trapping many people inside.

One investigator told Reuters, "There were cars parked on the first floor and as they were burning, a large amount of toxic gases were released."

One man is reported to have lost his mother, wife and daughter in the fire.

A leg of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics torch relay was scheduled to pass through Jecheon Friday, but organizers called it off.

The torch relay manager said, "We thought that having a torch relay at a place where so many people died in a fire accident is just not right, and therefore cancelled today's event in Jecheon."

The Olympic Games begin in February.

Jecheon is a scenic city with mountain and lakes that is located about 118 kilometers southeast of the capital of Seoul.

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