18 Feb 2014

Students die in SKorean roof collapse

11:45 am on 18 February 2014

At least nine people have died and 17 more have been seriously injured in a building collapse at a resort in South Korea.

At least 10 people are still trapped under the wreckage in the south-eastern city of Gyeongju. Seven of those killed were students, the BBC reports.

The collapsed auditorium.

The collapsed auditorium. Photo: AFP / YONHAP

Officials at the state-run National Emergency Management Agency say about 80 people received minor injuries when part of an auditorium fell in after heavy snowfall.

The structure failed during an orientation event for first-year university students from the southern city of Busan.

Fire services have blamed the weight of snow on the roof. The weather is also thought to have slowed rescue efforts,

with the area experiencing exceptionally heavy snowfall over the past week.

Gyeongju is a historic city that served as the capital of one of the Korean peninsula's ancient kingdoms, and is a popular tourist destination.

One of the world's worst peacetime building collapses happened in South Korea in June 1995, when Seoul's Sampoong Department Store collapsed, killing hundreds, says the BBC.