Fire on South Korean highway kills five, injures dozens

SEOUL (Reuters): A large fire on a major South Korean expressway spread quickly on Thursday, killing at least five people and injuring more than three dozen in heavy traffic before it was doused, emergency officials and media said.

Video images on social media showed a soundproof awning engulfed in flames soon after the fire broke out on the Second Gyeongin Expressway near Seoul, the capital, at about 1:49 p.m. (0449 GMT).

The heavy traffic made it difficult for vehicles to immediately escape the affected area, as the fire spread and a blast was heard, a witness told television broadcaster YTN.

Media said the fire appeared to have begun after a bus and a truck collided. But a fire official at the scene said its cause was still being investigated, although the fire had been put out.

Five people were killed with at least 37 injured, three of them seriously, an emergency official said.