UK & World News

  • 18 May 2014, 20:04

North Korea Apology After Apartments Collapse

An apartment building housing around 90 families has collapsed in North Korea, potentially killing hundreds of people.

State officials offered a rare public apology after the collapse, saying the accident was "serious" and had upset leader Kim Jong-Un.

A report from North Korea's Central News Agency said the apartment block was under construction in capital Pyongyang when the collapse happened on Tuesday but gave no details of the numbers killed or injured.

The report said it occurred in the Phyongchon district on Tuesday "as the construction of an apartment house was not done properly and officials supervised and controlled it in an irresponsible manner".

In South Korea a government official speaking on condition of anonymity said the 23-story apartment building was presumed to have housed 92 families.

That could mean that the casualties could run into hundreds because a typical North Korean family has four members.

It is not unusual for people to start living in apartments before the construction is complete.

According to state media, the rescue operation ended on Saturday and officials apologised to bereaved families and district residents.

The report cited one official as saying Kim Jong-Un "sat up all night, feeling painful after being told about the accident".

The authoritarian regime's tightly-controlled media rarely report news that might be considered negative.

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