Friday, December 9, 2022
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South Korea begins probe into lethal Halloween crush


SEOUL: South Korean investigators combed footage on Monday from greater than 50 state and personal closed-circuit TV cameras in addition to from social media in search of solutions to how a surge in Halloween party-goers trapped in slender alleys killed so many.
Because the nation started per week of mourning, the loss of life toll climbed to 154. One other 149 individuals had been injured, 33 of them in severe situation. Residents from a minimum of two dozen international locations had been among the many lifeless.
South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has promised an intensive investigation and authorities stated they had been targeted on reconstructing the chain of occasions main as much as the surge and had been taking a look at whether or not anybody could have been liable for triggering the crush.
“We’re analysing CCTVs to seek out out the precise reason behind the accident,” Police chief investigator Nam Gu-jun advised reporters.
“We are going to proceed questioning extra witnesses, together with close by store workers,” he stated.
Tens of hundreds of revellers – many of their teenagers and twenties and wearing costume – had crowded into slender streets and alleyways of the favored Itaewon district on Saturday for the primary nearly unrestricted Halloween festivities in three years.
However chaos erupted when individuals poured into one significantly slender and sloping alley, even after it was already packed, witnesses stated.
The identification of the victims was practically full and funeral preparations can transfer forward, Han stated. “We are going to do our greatest to offer vital help by reflecting the opinions of the bereaved households as a lot as potential.”
On Monday, individuals laid white chrysanthemums, drinks and candles at a small makeshift altar off an exit of the Itaewon subway station.
Jung Si-hoon, a retiree, positioned an previous wood cross on the altar, saying nothing could possibly be finished to convey again all of the younger individuals who had died.
“These poor individuals, all at comparable ages to my grandchildren… What extra ought to we are saying? We must always pray for them and need they relaxation in peace,” he stated.
On Monday afternoon, dozens of crime scene investigators and forensics officers descended onto the trash-strewn alleys which had been eerily quiet with many outlets and cafes closed.
One agent with the Nationwide Forensic Service crew, in white overalls and a black ribbon of mourning pinned to his chest, operated a Leica 3D scanner, he stated, “to seize the scene.”
President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has designated Itaewon a catastrophe zone, visited a memorial altar close to the Seoul metropolis corridor and paid his respects to victims on Monday.
Faculties, kindergartens and firms across the nation scrapped deliberate Halloween occasions. Ok-pop concert events and authorities briefings had been additionally cancelled.
The crush got here as Itaewon was simply beginning to thrive once more after greater than two years of Covid-19 restrictions. The catastrophe is the nation’s deadliest since a 2014 ferry sinking that killed 304 individuals, primarily highschool college students.
Han stated there had been incidents of individuals propagating hate speech by blaming victims, in addition to incidents involving the spreading of false data and the posting of disturbing scenes of the crush on-line. A Nationwide Police Company official stated they had been investigating six associated instances.





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