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S. Korean president apologizes for deadly Seoul Halloween crush

South Korean Pres
  • On Monday, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol offered an apology for the deadly crowd crush that killed at least 156 people and injured 197 victims.

  • The Halloween crush happened on the night of Oct. 29, after thousands of partygoers flocked to a narrow alley in Seoul’s Itaewon district.

  • Yoon, whose approval rating dropped in the incident’s aftermath, denounced the authorities' poor handling of the incident and pledged that a thorough investigation will be conducted.

  • It was initially revealed that people had warned of an impending danger in the hours leading up to the tragedy.

  • Based on police data made public on Sunday, the first police squad to arrive at the scene showed up nearly 85 minutes after the deadly crush occurred.

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South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has publicly apologized for the deadly crowd crush that killed at least 156 people and injured 197 victims.

The Halloween crush happened on the night of Oct. 29, after thousands of partygoers flocked to a narrow alley in Seoul’s Itaewon district.

Yoon offered an apology during a Monday meeting on safety rules as he committed to implementing reforms in the nation’s police and safety management systems. He also vowed to hold those responsible for the mishandled police response accountable. 

“I do not dare to compare myself to the parents who lost their sons and daughters, but as the president who ought to protect the people’s lives and safety, I am heartbroken,” he was quoted as saying. “I am sorry and apologetic to the bereaved families who are suffering an unspeakable tragedy, and to the people who share the pain and sorrow.”

Yoon, whose approval rating dropped in the incident’s aftermath, denounced the authorities’ poor handling of the incident and pledged that a thorough investigation will be conducted. 

The public’s clamor for an explanation as to why local authorities took little action despite receiving numerous calls has resulted in raids on law enforcement and emergency response offices in Seoul on Wednesday. 

According to investigators, people had warned of an impending danger in the hours leading up to the tragedy. 

Based on police data made public on Sunday, the first police squad to arrive at the scene showed up nearly 85 minutes after the deadly crush occurred.

The president noted that to prepare for danger and prevent similar incidents in the future, police work would need “extensive reform.”

Yoon, however, has rejected demands from opposition lawmakers to fire both the police chief and the interior minister. 

 

Featured Image via Arirang News

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