Disasters & Accidents

South Korean govt rejects new probe into Seoul Halloween crush

Seoul, Jan 30 (EFE).- South Korea’s cabinet rejected Tuesday a parliamentary motion promoted by the opposition that calls for opening a new investigation into the tragedy that claimed more than 150 lives at the 2022 Halloween celebrations in Seoul.

President Yoon Suk-yeol is now expected to ratify the government’s decision by exercising his veto power and return the motion to parliament for further evaluation.

The opposition Democratic Party, or DP, which holds a majority in the chamber, approved the proposal without support from the ruling People’s Power Party, or PPP.

The motion calls for establishing an investigative committee to reexamine the causes of the crowd that left 159 dead on Oct. 29, 2022 during Halloween celebrations in the Itaewon neighborhood of the South Korean capital, as well as the response of the authorities.

Survivors and families of the deceased have called for an independent investigation, believing police investigations carried out so far have not clarified all the aspects surrounding the tragedy.

The PPP rejected the motion, as the committee would have a majority of DP-appointed members (seven to four) and said the police investigation has been exhaustive, as said Tuesday by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo during the cabinet meeting.

Han said the government would announce new aid Tuesday, both mental and financial aid, which survivors and relatives of the victims have also been demanding.

The prosecution has charged, among other officials, the mayor and the head of the Yongsan police station, where Itaewon is located, and the head of the Seoul Metropolitan Police for negligence resulting in death. EFE


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