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Archive for Monday, April 26, 2004

Supply shortages hamper help for victims

April 26, 2004

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— Injured children lay on file cabinets as an overcrowded North Korean hospital struggled to cope without enough beds or medicine for hundreds of victims from last week's train explosion, an aid worker who visited the facility said Sunday.

Sinuiju Provincial Hospital, just across the border from China, was treating 360 people injured in the blast, according to Tony Banbury, Asia regional director for the U.N. World Food Program. More than 60 percent of the victims there were children, he said.

Thursday's huge explosion in the town of Ryongchon, fed by oil and chemicals, killed 161 people and injured at least 1,300, officials said.

The death toll rose by seven Sunday, but it was unclear whether the higher number reflected new fatalities or newly confirmed casualties.

Nations offering relief assistance include China, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

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