Korean hospitals unable to cope

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This is the grim scene at the Sinuiju Provincial Hospital, near the Chinese border, which is treating 360 people injured in the blast, according to Tony Banbury, Asia regional director for the UN World Food Program.

More than 60 per cent of the victims there were children, he said. “They clearly lack the ability to care for all the patients,” he said.

Thursday’s huge explosion in the town of Ryongchon, fed by oil and chemicals, killed 161 people and injured at least 1300, officials said.

The death toll rose by seven on the weekend but it was unclear whether the higher number reflected new fatalities or freshly confirmed casualties.