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The fire broke out at 10:30 am local time in Hwaseong, south of the capital Seoul. The plant is owned by Aricell, a South Korean primary battery manufacturer.

A fire accident at a battery plant in South Korea killed at least 20 people on Monday (Jun 24), Yonhap news agency reported. The fire broke out at 10:30 am local time in Hwaseong, south of the capital Seoul. The plant is owned by Aricell, a South Korean primary battery manufacturer.

Firefighters earlier said they were unable to go inside and carry out rescue operations due to the massive fire.

“We are still unable to go inside and carry out rescue operation. We will carry it out once we get the fire under control,” firefighter Kim Jin-young was quoted as saying by news agency CNA.

Some workers were unaccounted for. “We are planning to track their whereabouts with their contacts provided from the company,” he added.

The fire erupted after several battery cells exploded inside a warehouse with some 35,000 units, the firefighter added.

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol has issued emergency instructions to authorities to “mobilise all available personnel and equipment to focus on searching for and rescuing people”, according to the agency.

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