At least 20 dead in massive inferno at lithium battery factory after explosions rip through burning plant in South Korea

AT LEAST 20 people have been killed after a horror fire ripped through a South Korean lithium battery factory.

Harrowing footage shows thick plumes of smoke billowing through the sky as the fire engulfs the burning building as more than 20 workers are still “unaccounted for”.

APAt least 20 people have been killed after a horror fire has broken out at a South Korean lithium battery factory[/caption]

APThe factory was left collapsing after the huge fire ripped through it[/caption]

Billowing smoke was seen after the horror fire that has left several people still missing

APFirefighters are seen carrying out bodies from the factory[/caption]

The deadly fire is thought to have started after a series of highly flammable battery cells exploded inside the warehouse.

Local fire official Kim Jin-young said that up to 35,000 units were inside the factory at the time of the blast at 10:30am (local time) on Monday morning.

He told local media: “We are still unable to go inside and carry out rescue operation. We will carry it out once we get the fire under control.

“Twenty-one workers are unaccounted for now. We are planning to track their whereabouts with their contacts provided from the company.”

Initial reports say 20 bodies were recovered by emergency specialists.

At least four others have been left hospitalised with two in a critical condition, Kim announced at a briefing.

Dozens of fire engines were seen rushing to the factory to contain the flames.

Shocking pictures show the burnt out roof of the factory left charred and collapsing in on itself.

Falling debris can also be seen piling up on the roads below the battery factory as it continues to crumble.

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol told emergency services to “mobilise all available personnel and equipment to focus on searching for and rescuing people”.

The lithium battery plant is owned by Aricell, a South Korean manufacturer and is located in Hwaseong, south of the capital Seoul.

Around 67 employees were inside the building when the first explosions erupted, say South Korean media.

Investigations into the fire are ongoing.

APThe fire rocked Hwaseong and caused a panic throughout the region prompting a fast response form emergency services[/caption]

ReutersA firefighter inspects the charred remains of the burnt out factory[/caption]

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