Karaoke lounge fire kills nine South Koreans

SEOUL - Nine people were killed and ten others injured after a fire swept through a karaoke lounge in South Korea's southern city of Busan, police said Sunday.

The blaze broke out Saturday night in one of the lounge's 26 rooms on the third floor of a six-story building in the port city, police said. Ten people were injured and taken to hospital for treatment.

The dead included a 20-year-old Sri Lankan national, Yonhap news agency said.

Smoke spread quickly, making it hard for people to find exits, and most of those killed died from inhaling toxic gases, it said.

About 100 firefighters battled the blaze as dozens of other people evacuated the smouldering building, Yonhap said.

It was not immediately clear what started the fire. An investigation was under way.

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