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Nine people killed, eight severely injured in Gwangju building collapse accident Updated: 2021-06-10 15:17:13 KST

We now turn to the tragedy that struck Wednesday in South Korea's southwestern city of Gwangju.
A building collapsed suddenly in the center of the city, killing at least nine people and injuring several more, many critically.
Our Choi Won-jong is at the scene.
Won-jong, what's going on right now?

Conn-young, let me just begin by saying that what we saw here today was a scene of devastation.
We are standing in front of the incident where a five-story building collapsed onto a bus killing nine people and severely injuring eight others.

I'm going to step away from the camera now for a moment to show you what's going on behind me.
Due to large amount of rubble that spilled out, there's not much left of what used to be a building.
Throughout the day we met a few local residents who shared with us their thoughts on what happened.

"It's devastating. I hope I don't see any of the victims. That was my biggest concern. I got several phone calls while watching TV since I've lived here for more than 40 years. I've never seen anything like this."

"It's so awful. I often pass by here on my way to the hospital where my child works. I was worried about the safety of it to be honest. However, I was still really surprised when I heard what happened.

Police officers and firefighters have been here all night, surveying the scene and looking for survivors.
And on Thursday a special investigation team was created to ensure a much quicker and more strictly controlled probe.
So far as of Thursday, no additional victims have been reported.

Won-jong, we also heard that the South Korean government is taking strict action by ordering a further investigation into the incident as well.
Tell us more.

That's right. First of all, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday afternoon has expressed his deepest condolences to the victims and their families.
President Moon ordered the local government and the ministries of land and safety to come up with medical aid and support for the funerals.
Ensuring such a tragedy never happens again, he also urged a thorough probe to find out the exact cause of the collapse.
Earlier this afternoon, South Korea's Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum arrived at the scene and gave a briefing.

"Right now, there are many places being demolished across the nation but we can't let this tragedy happen again. We will thoroughly investigate the cause of the incident."

Prime Minister Kim also visited the funeral for the victims.
Meanwhile, HDC Hyundai Development Company chairman Chung Mong-gyu officially apologized for the incident in Gwangju.
As the site under ongoing re-development was under his supervision, Chung promised to do anything he can to help the victims and their families as well as to prevent anything like this from happening again.
That's all I have you for now.
Back to you, Conn-young.
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