South Korea crowd crush: Police seek manslaughter and negligence charges against officials | World News

An investigation into last year’s Halloween crash in the South Korean capital, which killed nearly 160 people, says 23 officials should be charged for alleged lack of safety measures.

Police are seeking criminal charges against them, including involuntary manslaughter and negligence, about half of whom are law enforcement officers.

It comes after an investigation found that police and public officials failed to adequately control the crowds for the day’s thousands of partygoers. Tragedy Saturday, October 29 in Seoul.

They are also accused of neglect. Calls the police hotlines. who warned of a swelling crowd just hours before the surge in the nightlife district of Itaewon turned deadly in the evening.

Rescue workers carry a victim on the street near the scene of a crime, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea.  Several people were killed and others injured after being crushed by a large crowd pushing through a narrow street during Halloween.  South Korean officials said the festival in the capital.  (AP Photo/Lee ​​Jinmin)
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Rescue workers faced difficulties in reaching the spot

Investigators also said officers botched their response when people began being pushed and shoved in a narrow street full of partygoers near the Hamilton Hotel around 10 p.m.

Investigators added that they failed to establish effective control over the scene and allow rescue teams to reach the injured in time.

A total of 158 people died and 196 were injured in this disaster.

Despite an expected weekend crowd of more than 100,000, police had 137 officers assigned to Itaewon on the day of the crackdown.

Those officers were focused on monitoring drug use and violent crime, which experts say left few resources for pedestrian safety.

Son Ji-han, head of the National Police Agency’s special investigation into the incident, said the case will now be sent to prosecutors.

A street in Seoul's Etawon district is crowded with people before the stampede during the Halloween festival.

Mr Sun said of the officials: “(Their) misjudgment of the situation, slow distribution of situational information, poor coordination between relevant agencies and delays in relief operations were among the overlapping failures that led to “There was a large number of casualties.”

Seoul’s Yongsan district mayor Park Hae-young and the district’s former police chief Lee Im-jae are among those arrested and investigators say they should be prosecuted.

Mr Lee is also accused of falsifying a police report to cover up his late arrival at the scene.

Two other policemen have been arrested on suspicion of trying to destroy computer files and other possible evidence linked to the disaster.

Opposition politicians and victims’ relatives have called for more investigations by top figures such as Interior and Security Minister Lee Sang-min and National Police Agency Commissioner General Yoon Hee-kyun. He is facing demands to resign.

Commissioner of the National Police Agency Yoon Hye-geun speaks during a press conference following a crowd crackdown during Halloween celebrations at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on November 1, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.  REUTERS/Heo Ran
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Other officials, including National Police Agency Commissioner General Yoon Hye-kyun, are facing pressure to resign.

However, the investigation will end up with the Ministry of Interior and Security, the National Police Agency, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, with investigators saying it was difficult to determine their direct responsibility.

what happened?

Some experts have said. Crush in Itaewon A “human catastrophe”.

The density of the crowd was so high on the night of the tragedy that about nine to eleven people occupied the same space – about one square meter – at the same time.

Paramedics struggled to reach the scene as the area was so crowded.

Those who managed to reach the scene were unable to cope with the sheer number of casualties and asked pedestrians to help them perform CPR.

Most deaths were due to suffocation or brain damage.

Experts say the incident could have been prevented by more monitoring of bottlenecks, enforcement of one-way walkways, blocking of narrow streets or temporarily closing the subway station in Etown to accommodate large numbers of people. can be prevented from moving in the same direction.



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