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SEOUL, South Korea — An oxygen tank explosion caused a fire Thursday at a U.S. base southeast of Seoul, the military said. No injuries were reported.

The blast, which occurred at 2:45 p.m. at Camp Carroll, was contained with the help of South Korea firefighters in the town of Chilgok, according to a statement from the base spokesman’s office.

Some nearby houses were struck by debris or had windows blown out by the blast, a local fireman said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The military statement said that only one building on the camp was damaged, and there were no injuries.

The military did not provide more details, but called the blaze an “accident” and said the cause was being investigated.

Firefighters from the Chilgok fire department responded under mutual aid agreements, the military statement said. Chilgok is about 175 miles southeast of the capital.

Han Seok Mun, 73, who owns an electronic appliance store near the base, said he heard a series of blasts in quick succession.

“At first I thought it was gunfire from a training exercise at the base, but it was quite loud so I realized it had to be something else,” he said.

About 28,500 U.S. servicemembers are stationed in South Korea to help maintain security on the divided peninsula. The South technically is still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

gamel.kim@stripes.com

chang.kyong@stripes.com

Twitter: @kimgamel

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Yoo Kyong Chang is a reporter/translator covering the U.S. military from Camp Humphreys, South Korea. She graduated from Korea University and also studied at the University of Akron in Ohio.
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