A fire swept through a hospital in southeastern South Korea on Friday, killing more than 30 people and injuring dozens in one of the country's most deadly fires in recent years. Fire official Choi Man-wu said in a televised briefing that the fire at Sejong Hospital in the city of Miryang killed 31 people and injured 77. Eight of the injured are in critical condition. The fire started on the first floor of the hospital at 7:35 a.m. and was extinguished at 10:26 a.m., Choi said. The cause of the fire is under investigation. As the fire broke out, he said, 194 people had been hospitalized in two buildings of Sejong Hospital, including 94 elderly patients in the nursing hospital. The hospital has a nursing hospital for the elderly and also offers regular medical services. South Korea is one of the fastest-aging countries in the world and has many nursing hospitals, which are preferred for elderly people who require long-term care. In late December, 29 people were killed in a fire that tore through an eight-story building in the city of Jecheon in central South Korea. It was the country's deadliest blaze in a decade before the hospital fire.