Saturday, November 26, 2022
HomeInternationalScant safety for Halloween raises questions in South Korea

Scant safety for Halloween raises questions in South Korea

NEW YORK: Because the grim activity of figuring out the useless in Saturday evening’s tragic crowd surge in South Korea’s capital neared completion, focus turned to questions of simply how the Halloween celebration had turned so lethal. South Korean police are often so good at crowd management that the nation’s protest rallies usually seem like choreographed occasions. Leaders bark from loudspeakers mounted on vehicles. Crowds of tens of hundreds march down roads chanting protest slogans and even decide up trash behind themselves. Law enforcement officials stroll alongside, guiding the throngs and thoroughly diverting site visitors. What occurred in Itaewon, the place a Halloween crowd crush killed greater than 150 folks on Saturday night, confirmed crowd management gone awry.


This 12 months, the police mentioned they had been unprepared, partly as a result of their forces had been diverted earlier on Saturday to close by districts the place anti-government and different protest rallies had been being held, officers mentioned. “The group this 12 months was not worrisomely greater. . . however our police forces had been scattered to varied protests throughout the town,” residence minister, Lee Sangmin, instructed reporters on Sunday.
At the very least 141 of the 153 folks killed within the catastrophe had been recognized by Sunday afternoon, officers mentioned. At a neighborhood middle the place members of the family had been awaiting information, wrenching wails punctured the somber wait because the dreaded confirmations arrived, one after the other. Ninety-seven of the useless had been ladies and 56 had been males. Greater than 80% of the useless are of their 20s and 30s, however at the very least 4 had been youngsters.
Witnesses mentioned they noticed nearly no crowd management andscant police presence within the hours main as much as the tragedy. A 17-year-old survivor mentioned folks “fell like dominoes” after a bunch of younger males made a tough shove down a slender hill that had been stuffed with a nearlystandstill crowd for hours. One other witness described a “sea of our bodies” speeding towards her, in what she later realised was in panic after the tragedy started to unfold. “I nonetheless can’t consider what has occurred. It waslike a hell,” mentioned Kim Mi Sung, an official at a nonprofit group that promotes tourism in Itaewon. Kim mentioned she carried out CPR on 10 individuals who had been unconscious and 9 of them had been declared useless on the spot.

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