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South Korean police chief admits ‘heavy responsibility’ for Halloween stampede disaster

South Korea’s police chief was among many officials who apologized for the deaths halloween stampede At least 156 people were killed and another 151 injured over the weekend. Yoon Hee-geun said Tuesday that the police response to the disaster was “insufficient.”

At a TV press conference, Yoon said, “I feel a responsibility as the head of the relevant ministries.

Yoon said the National Police Agency was aware of how officers on the scene dealt with the surge in crowds and the fact that as the situation worsened, emergency services received numerous calls warning of the seriousness of the crash. Yoon said the police response to these calls was “inadequate”.

“Through this accident, I feel once again my unlimited responsibility for the safety of the people, and I will do my best to prevent such a tragic incident from happening in the future,” Yoon said.

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South Korea’s National Police Chief Yoon Hee-keun bows at a press conference in Seoul on Nov. 1, 2022, acknowledging the police’s inadequate response to the city’s death toll over Halloween weekend. apologized for


Other officials, including the mayor of Seoul and South Korea’s interior minister, also publicly apologized.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon burst into tears at a press conference.

“Yesterday when I tried to comfort the people at the National Medical Center who had their daughter in the hospital, they said she would survive and they believed it,” the mayor told the Associated Press. I heard it. Sorry for the delay in apologizing.”

“As a father of a son and a daughter, I am very sad… It is difficult and difficult to put into words how unrealistic this situation is,” Interior Minister Lee Sang-min told the National Assembly. We have to accept the situation,” reports BBC News.

More than 150 dead in Seoul stampede, Halloween festivities
A police officer stands behind a cordon in the Itaewon district of Seoul, South Korea, October 30, 2022.

SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg/Getty

Police set up a 475-person task force to determine the cause of the disaster, reviewing security camera videos and interviewing witnesses. They told the BBC that the first emergency call was made at 6.34pm local time, hours before the start of the deadly stampede, and that he had received 10 calls in the following hours.

Some question the deployment of just 137 police officers to control crowds in central Seoul amid Halloween festivities on the night of the disaster. About 7,000 police officers were deployed in other parts of the city to monitor the protests, despite being more deployed in the three years before the pandemic.

Rampage in Seoul
A woman lays flowers near the site of the deadly flood to commemorate the victims in Seoul, South Korea, October 31, 2022.

Liu Xu/China News Service/Getty

Most of those who died in the tragedy were in their 20s and 30s, 26 were foreign nationals, 2 of whom were U.S. college students. Other victims were from Russia, Iran and Japan.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duk-soo said foreign victims should receive the same government support as Koreans.

Han was brutally questioned by journalists for about 150 minutes on Tuesday, repeatedly asking why police seemed unaware of the disaster.

He acknowledged that the government is investigating and changes are needed, but argued that in general South Korea is a very safe country and that disasters are very rare occurrences.

In response to a CBS News question, Han said, “If we had pre-emptive crowd control technology that could anticipate all possible problems ahead of time, it could have been very good for us.” I read that there are some flaws in that regard.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/south-korea-stampede-police-chief-admits-heavy-responsibility-halloween-deaths/ South Korean police chief admits ‘heavy responsibility’ for Halloween stampede disaster

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