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BREAKING NEWS: Up to 50 Busan students feared trapped in collapsed Gyeongju resort

From Busan Haps:

According to breaking news reports upwards of 50 college students from the Busan University of Foreign Studies are feared trapped in Gyeongju after half of the ceiling of a resort building collapsed Monday at 9:15 pm.

The Mauna Ocean Resort, which was being used as an auditorium to house a student orientation caved due to heavy snow, according to witnesses on the scene.

There were around 350 students in the building when it collapsed, and while about 300 were able to escape, the remainder are believed to be trapped in the snow and rubble.

Details still coming in, read the rest here.

Our hopes go out to those still trapped and the emergency workers fighting to get them out.

UPDATE: Three students have been confirmed killed.

About the author: Founder/CEO of Meme Communications Korea – www.memecommunications.com

  • Aja Aja

    I read that the firetrucks had hard time getting to the scene due to the heavy snow in a remote area.

  • Sumo294

    I saw the pics–most of students got very lucky it was not a total structural failure. Something tells me that this was a maintenance issue than shoddy construction.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    It wasn’t my fault. (In before the blame game begins)

  • pawikirogii

    ten people die and the nasty expat sees it as an opportunity to disparage koreans. just look at the link below and make sure to read the comments by poster ‘t’. put your foot in your mouth yet again, didn’t ya, queen baeksu?

    http://rokdrop.com/2014/02/17/at-least-3-dead-in-south-korean-building-collapse/#comments

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    “#1, that’s strange, because the Korean news says the roof of the
    building was covered in 46cm of ice snow after two weeks of heavy snow fall. By the way, it was a pre-fab assembly building imported from the US. So it was essentially an American made building.”

    And so it has begun.

  • pawikirogii

    2003년 6월에 개장한 리조트는 지상 2층 높이의 별장형 10개 동(40실)과
    지상 3~6층 높이의 빌라형 3개 동 103실로 구성돼 있다. 콘도 본동은 미국의 유명 설계업체 WAT&G가 설계했으며 지상 1층과 4층, 5층에 컬럼비아홀·옥스퍼드홀 등 5개의 연회장과 세미나실이 마련돼 있다. 이들 연회장은 한 공간에 170명까지 수용할 수 있도록 돼 있다.

    the above is why poster sumo tells us it’s a maintenance issue rather than a construction issue. he’s ready for battle never mind the people who died. this tragedy is his viagra.

  • pawikirogii

    that’s not where that thread started. poster tom was replying to the following schlock written by poster baeksu:

    ‘I live 30 minutes west of Kyongju — more inland, in other words — and
    there is not a speck of snow in this neck of the woods. In fact, it
    rained lightly today and rained a few times last week as well. I find it
    hard to believe that “heavy snow” was the cause of this collapse, and
    wonder if shoddy construction is the real reason. The building in the
    picture looks awfully flimsy, and many of the newer buildings around
    here are pretty cheap and thrown up faster than you can blink an eye.
    The owners save money this way, but is it the best way to save lives?’

    shameless expat.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    No, it didn’t start there; BUT IT SURE AS HELL WENT THERE FAST.

  • Sumo294

    I am thinking that one of support beam lug nuts must of rusted through. A good amount of shear force from expanding ice would have caused one corner to sag.

  • bumfromkorea

    The fucking thing looks like it melted. For christ’s sake, I thought Korea was over this phase after the Sampoong dept store and Seongsu bridge.

    It was three dead this morning… now it’s 10.

  • redwhitedude

    In the face of this tragedy some people resort to play the blame game. Really pathetic. Sad. Really sad.

  • Sumo294

    Do we have any CIS guys here? Or mechanical engineers?

  • felddog13

    The facility in question was at a higher elevation, and might have experienced more snow than most people at a lower elevation would realize.

  • Dokdoforever

    This is really too bad. A foot and a half of snow on the roof at 1500 feet above sea level. Nearby in Daegu we haven’t any snow at all.

  • Tapp

    9 kids are dead… of course the blame game is going to be played. It has absolutely nothing to do with race, though. People cutting corners to save a buck crosses all racial boundaries. I would also venture that the “blame game” crosses those same racial boundaries. There was a stage collapse at a concert in Indiana (I think) a few years ago. The blame game was making it’s rounds almost immediately… just like it did in the fatal fire at the Great White concert in 2003. You see, concert goers have a reasonable expectation of safety. So do families sending their kids off to school for the first time.

    Yes, rescue attempts are still underway, but the blame game has already begun on Korean news sites. Why would you expect anyone involved to not participate? I agree, it is pathetic and it is sad, but unfortunately, it’s also human nature.

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s probably because of “Snows-once-in-15-years-if-that” climate we got here in Arizona, but I’m having difficulty fathoming the idea that 18 inches of snow on a building is enough to collapse it. Even a faulty one.

  • 8675309

    Snow is very heavy and if it accumulates, especially on top of refrozen layers of ice, even the most structurally sound roof will eventually collapse — especially a flat one like this was. (I went through the blizzard of ’77, ’79 and ’94 when I lived in Chicago. The blizzard of 1979 was the worst — or best — for the kids, i.e., three weeks worth of “snow days”). Anyways, we had about three-feet of snow accumulated on our roof literally overnight. I remember that clearly b/c I spent the next day with my father and uncles removing every last bit of snow from the roof. Had we allowed the snow to accumulate, it would’ve gone through a melt-and-freeze cycle, which would’ve been disastrous, as it continued to snow. Having said that, you have to be extra-vigilant and thinking about these kind of contingencies during heavy snowfalls. This is the problem with companies and schools hiring only young staff members — they can’t think back to more than their own recent past, and most of the times, their collective memories fall short when being able to foresee these kinds of contingencies.

  • 8675309

    You don’t need a mechanical engineer to have figured out this problem. As a Chicago blizzard veteran (’77, ’79, ’94), I can attest to the fact that snow is a very treacherous substance that no matter what state it’s in, is extremely heavy, and at depth, will threaten even the most structurally sound roof. There is no way around this fact: Accumulated snow on a rooftop = an eventual collapse.

  • Pingback: Breaking: Leftist S. Korean lawmaker gets 12-year sentence for pro-N. Korean sabotage plot | ONE FREE KOREA

  • Sumo294

    Hmmmnn . . . personally I thought 16 were going to die–12 trapped and 4 to injuries. All the injured must have made it through the first 24 hours. Some of the deeply trapped must of pulled through somehow.

  • namepen

    “shameless expat”

    Just say foreigner, we know that is what you want to say.

  • redwhitedude

    Especially if its a flat roof.

  • wangkon936

    How old was the building?

  • Aja Aja

    Not sure when the building was built or added. But the entire resort itself was built in 2003.

  • wangkon936

    Someone needs to get their living asses sued for this. Well, at least that’s how we roll in the U.S…. ;)

  • redwhitedude

    Korea needs some of that hardass american attitude on litigation. That way they won’t let things fly as much as they have.

  • redwhitedude

    Sadly Korea needs still needs a little bit of this. Now it isn’t as blatantly obvious as those but here and there.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Pawi, if you have issues with a commenter on another blog, please address them to the commenter on the blog in question, not here.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

  • pawikirogii

    i was addressing what he wrote. i wasn’t addressing him. not cool? it wasn’t cool that you deleted my posts. you link to what other people say. what i did was no different. did you recieve a request from him to shut me up? he’s pretty upset about the whole thing or rather that’s what it seems like with his diatribe against me. please you apply same standard to everyone and not just the koreans here.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Someone will be sued, and the insurance company will settle. for college students, though, the damages will be small because their earning potential, if any, is unknown.

  • Sumo294

    Pawikirogi–I have no doubt you love Korea–but you should show some courtesy and respect to his plumpness and his requests. At one time he was a model world citizen–he had a heart of gold and would have died for his fellow man. Something happened to him since then–but back in the day–he was one hell of a reasonable man.

  • pawikirogii

    thanks. my idea of him was that he was big on korea but i never knew much about him outside that eclectic book he wrote. when he was here a couple months ago, i was surprised at how much he seemed to despise koreans. i wondered what happened to him but as you know, my love for korea and koreans makes me not care. of course, i’m assuming ‘his plumpness’ is not in reference to robert.

  • Sumo294

    Unless he lost weight Robert was the original plumpness when he was filmed for the Super Bowl pregame special on Hines Ward.

  • pawikirogii

    oh, then i was talking about somebody else. this is his board so i’ll follow his rules. i didn’t know robert had or has a weight issue.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Sorry.

  • dlbarch

    Brendon makes an interesting point about damages. Can’t say I’m that familiar with Korean law on admissibility of estimates for future lost income, but any plaintiff’s attorney in the States worth his salt would have no trouble at all finding an economics expert to estimate that — even for students with no work history — a certain level of education (x) a calculated earnings capacity (x) a presumed number of years worked until retirement would give a lost future earnings damages figure well into the seven figures.

    Of course, then my experts would counter that such estimates are speculative and that there are a lot of underemployed university students living at home with their parents well into their 30s. But there are work-life earnings tables galore in the U.S. (and presumably in Korea) that provide a ready benchmark for such estimates.

    Either way, the product and premises liability for this accident should be huge. In Korea, though, ya never know.

    DLB

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    But remember, in Korea a non-SKY degree confers very little earnings advantage. And we can hire Ewha graduates, for example, for about W1,000,000 per month.

  • dlbarch

    I actually LOVE deposing lost earnings experts. One doesn’t quite appreciate the absurdity of econ. and MBA types until one gets a plaintiff-friendly “expert” who states, with a perfectly straight face, that the housework provided by a 60-year-old spouse who’s never worked a day in her life has a value of $800,000 over a life expectancy to age 84, because somewhere, someone has calculated the full market value of every possible household task and extrapolated it to 24-hour days, performed every single day, for 24 years.

    DLB

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    As someone who does this for a living, let me say: NO. HELL TO THE NO. American tort litigation is an ongoing human tragedy that is beneath the nation’s dignity. I will absolutely grant that Korea’s compensation amount should go up way, way higher, but that can be done without American-style litigation. If there is one benefit for Korea’s system, it is that the compensation negotiation is resolved quickly.

  • redwhitedude

    Well I did say some not all.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    But Dave, in Korea there is no “battle of the experts”. There’s no deposition and no cross-ex. The plaintiff makes a demand, and the court — the court itself — either gets out an actuarial table or appoints a single expert to prepare an estimate. Plus there is a very conservative estimate of consequential damages (i.e., you only get direct damages), a radically different concept of pain & suffering, no punitive damages, and no jury to inflame with rhetoric and sophistry.

  • http://jidohero.blogspot.com JidoHero

    map – http://goo.gl/maps/JrfAC

    I think this explains it all…

    “I’ve lived in Gyeongju for decades, and I never seen snow fall as heavily here as this year,” Mr. Kim, 40, said. “The building was probably designed to withstand the weight of the regional average snowfall. This year’s snowfall was far heavier than the average. They should have removed snow from the rooftop.”

    “A low pressure system in the east coast region has dumped a large amount of snow in the east of the Korean peninsula. Gyeongju city has received a record 17 inches of snow over the last week.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303491404579389673484667830?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303491404579389673484667830.html

    ….and
    (regarding the weight of the snow)

    “That would have amounted to more than 10 buses on the top of the gymnasium since the snow contained a lot of water as well,” Kim, the Hanbat National University professor, said.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-18/roof-collapse-at-south-korea-resort-kills-at-least-10-people.html