Factory fire near Seoul kills 9

A fire at a battery manufacturing plant near the South Korean capital Seoul on Monday has left nine people dead.

Firefighters in South Korea say the fire started at the factory in Hwaseong in Gyeonggi Province around 10:30 a.m. They say nine people were confirmed dead as of around 4 p.m. and four people were injured. They earlier said 23 people, including about 20 foreign workers, were unaccounted for.

A video released by the local fire department shows black smoke and flames rising from the compound.

According to the firefighters, the factory produces lithium batteries, and they are conducting a search operation as there is a possibility that those unaccounted for are still inside the building.

President Yoon Suk-yeol has told related Cabinet ministers and fire department officials to do everything possible to save lives.

The country's Yonhap News Agency reports that the fire broke out in a three-story building with a floor space of about 2,300 square meters.