At the time of the fire, 100 patients were in the wards.
At least 177 patients - majority elderly - were at the hospital and an adjacent nursing home when the fire broke out, hospital director Song Byeong-cheol said at a press briefing. Firefighters reported that victims died from smoke inhalation.
The national fire agency told AFP that 15 people had been confirmed dead, 11 were in critical condition, and 40 more were injured. The exact cause of the fire is not known as yet and the facility is located about 380kms from capital Seoul. Read Also: Kamala Mills Fire: BMC to overhaul licence rules for restaurants Sejong Hospital has a nursing hospital for the elderly and also offers regular medical services.
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Sejong Nursing Hospital has three medical staffs - a surgeon, a family medicine specialist, and a general practitioner. The death toll may rise as the rescue operation was still underway.
"The president has ordered authorities to come up with plans to prevent more fires at a complex building", announced a spokesman for the South Korean Presiden'ts Office.
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Interior Minister Kim Boo-kyum travelled to Miryang to apologise for the fire.
Officials earlier put the death toll at 39, but they corrected it, saying some victims had been counted twice.
The blaze started from an emergency room at around 7:30 AM at Sejong Hospital in Miryang city.
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This fatal fire comes just a month after a fire in a sports center building that killed 29 people and led to criminal charges for negligence by the building's owners.