Hyundai Department Store Ceiling Collapses

Plasterboard fell off the ceiling on the ground floor of Hyundai Department Store's Cheonho branch on Sunday, roughly the 20th anniversary of the collapse of Sampoong Department Store which claimed more than 500 lives.

Staff and customers were evacuated.

At around 2 p.m. on Sunday, a 9.92 sq.m piece of plasterboard suddenly detached from the ceiling near a store on the ground floor of the department store.

People are being evacuated after plasterboard suddenly fell off the ceiling on the ground floor of Hyundai Department Store in southeastern Seoul on Sunday, in this screen grab from YTN news. /News 1 People are being evacuated after plasterboard suddenly fell off the ceiling on the ground floor of Hyundai Department Store in southeastern Seoul on Sunday, in this screen grab from YTN news. /News 1

A staffer identified by her surname Kim (47) was hit by the board and suffered light abrasions. A customer and her six-year-old daughter were taken to hospital but they did not seem to be seriously injured.

Staff and customers shrieked with fear and fled the store.

The department store opened as usual after removing the plasterboard and debris. A customer who gave her name as Jeong (37) said, "Don't they need to evacuate everyone and carry out proper safety checks? I don't understand how they can just carry on as usual after cleaning up the mess."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 30, 2014 13:32 KST