Disasters & Accidents

South Korean govt to hold police accountable for Itaewon crush

Seoul, Nov 2 (EFE).- South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Wednesday his government would hold the police accountable for their inaction amid the chaotic concentration of people in the Itaewon neighborhood in Seoul, which cost the lives of more than 150 people.

“The government will hold accountable those responsible as soon as the investigation is completed,” Han said Wednesday at a meeting reported by the local Yonhap news agency.

Han’s comments come a day after the National Police Agency released transcripts of more than a dozen emergency calls warning of danger in the alley where the tragedy occurred.

All those who called, some almost four hours before the tragedy occurred, were told troops would be sent to the alley.

Han urged police forces Wednesday to thoroughly investigate the causes of their inaction and explain their findings publicly.

About 100,000 people gathered Saturday in the streets of this popular bar area in Seoul, causing congestion and blockages that caused a pile-up of people in a narrow alley that has left 156 dead so far, with another 29 seriously injured.

South Korean authorities have admitted the absence of protocols in the country to deploy security assets in a large-scale event in which there is no organizer.

The government said it would review its protocols and devise a comprehensive plan to improve its response to such emergency calls. EFE


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