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[VIDEO NEWS] Chained doors lock students inside building during dormitory fire

Mar 27,2018
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1) Voices of students urgently calling for help from inside the smoking building.

2) March 15, 2:40 a.m., a fire alarm went off in the dormitories of Seoul Arts College in Gangnam District, southern Seoul.

3) The students called 119 for help and attempted to exit the building through the main door on the first floor.

4) The emergency exit was sealed with an extra lock, making the main door the only exit.

5) However, they were unable to open the main door, too, as it was locked with a chain.

6) The students panicked and asked the building’s guard to open the door,

7) but the guard refused, claiming that the fire was not serious enough.

8) The students were only able to get out of the building when a firefighter broke the chains with hydraulic equipment.

9) In the incident, one student had to be transferred to the hospital for inhaling the fumes.

10) The fire, started in the kitchen by a student attempting to boil eggs, did not cause any direct damage, but the fumes put students in danger of suffocation.

11) Five days after the fire, with police officers and firefighters, the parents of the students visited the dormitory building for a site inspection at dawn and found that the main door was still chained.

12) The parents of the students said, “It hasn’t been very long since the Jecheon fire incident, and another tragedy could have happened.”

13) “They locked the door again even after the fire department cut the chains. This is a serious level of insensitivity towards safety.”

14) “The school is trying to blame the students for this by saying they broke the ‘no cooking after 11 p.m. rule.’ Although the students were wrong not to follow dormitory policy, the school is still responsible for chaining the door.”

15) The firefighters and police officers at the scene were also as enraged as the parents.

16) A member of the school administration said, “It seems the guard decided to lock the door because our policy that restricts students from getting in or out of the dormitories at night.”

17) “The administration was completely unaware of the lock ups before the incident. The guard has since been fired.”

18) However, the parents doubt the administration’s explanation, saying that, “during the site inspection, the guard said he was instructed by the administration to lock the door.”

19) The fire department concluded that the administration had violated the Fire Service Act and called for corrective measures to be made along with a fine.

20) “School policies” are designed to create a safe environment for education, but are they really doing their job?

Video sourced from JoongAng Ilbo
Directed by Park Hae-lee
Produced by Oh Da-seul
Translated by Kim Hyo-jung
Edited by Hoyeon Yoo