Asia-Pacific

Ten die in fire at South Korea nursing home

Pohang's gutted nursery home
Image caption An investigation into what caused the fire is now under way

A blaze has swept through a nursing home for the elderly in South Korea, killing 10 people and injuring 17 others, officials say.

They say the fire in a two-storey building in the south-eastern city of Pohang broke out just before dawn.

The victims - all women in their 70s and 80s - suffocated from smoke because they were unable to move unassisted.

Some 200 firefighters were sent to tackle the fire, which was brought under control after about 30 minutes.

The injured were taken to local hospitals.

"I was sleeping and went out because I saw light, and flames were shooting up from the office," overnight caretaker Choi was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

An investigation is now under way, with some reports suggesting an electrical fault may have been the cause of the fire.

President Lee-Myung-Bak expressed sadness at the tragedy.