Rescue workers remove bodies after the hospital fire in Miryang, South Korea. (AFP/Getty Images)


The death toll in Friday’s fire represents a significant portion of the annual fatalities from such incidents in South Korea, population 51 million. In 2016, for example, about 280 people died in fire-related incidents, according to the Korean Statistical Information Service. By comparison there were 3,300 fire deaths in the United States, which has six times the population, in 2015, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.That’s a fire mortality rate of 10.5 per million people. South Korea’s fire mortality rate in 2016 was 5.5 per million people.


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