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South Korea Halloween catastrophe: Candlelight vigils to mourn victims

SEOUL: Candlelight vigils and rallies had been anticipated in South Korea on Saturday to commemorate the 156 individuals killed in a Halloween crowd crush, with public anger rising over one of many nation’s deadliest peacetime disasters.
The victims, largely younger individuals, had been among the many estimated 100,000 that had flocked to the capital Seoul’s well-liked Itaewon nightlife district to rejoice the primary post-pandemic Halloween.
South Korean regulation enforcement officers have conceded that there was inadequate security planning for a crowd that giant, and opposition politicians have accused President Yoon Suk-yeol’s authorities of not taking accountability for the catastrophe.
Reflecting that anger, a lady recognized by native media because the mom of one of many victims was seen ripping aside the floral wreaths left by the president and Seoul’s mayor at a memorial on Friday.
“What is the level of (these flowers) once they could not shield (our kids)? Give it some thought,” she was seen saying in footage broadcast by native TV stations.
“What is the level of standing subsequent to those (wreaths) while you let our infants die?”
Uniformed cops had been then seen escorting the girl away from the memorial, positioned outdoors Seoul Metropolis Corridor.
President Yoon on Friday joined different prime officers — together with the nationwide police chief and the inside minister — who had apologised over the catastrophe.
“As a president who’s chargeable for the lives and security of the individuals, I’m deeply saddened and sorry,” he stated.
“I do know that our authorities and I… have an enormous accountability to make sure that such a tragedy by no means occurs once more.”
– Scrutiny of crowd administration – Yoon — who’s with the conservative Individuals Energy Occasion — has been battling record-low approval scores since taking workplace in Could, and his political opponents at the moment are taking goal at his authorities over the Halloween crush.
A civic group linked to the principle opposition celebration was set to carry candlelight vigils throughout the nation on Saturday night, together with in Seoul, Busan, Gwangju and Jeju.
A gaggle of younger Koreans was anticipated to carry a separate commemoration in central Seoul.
“I can not imagine individuals of my age died simply because they needed to have some enjoyable on Halloween,” stated Park Tae-hoon, 29, one of many organisers of that rally and a member of the progressive Jinbo political celebration.
“It was solely yesterday that the president apologised,” he instructed AFP, including that the aim of the march was to demand punishment for these accountable and measures to stop a recurrence of the tragedy.
South Korea is in a interval of nationwide mourning that ends Saturday, with flags flying at half-mast and leisure occasions cancelled.
Public scrutiny of how the Halloween crowd was managed is mounting, and a wide-ranging probe is below method into the precise reason for the crush.
With no single organiser for the Halloween celebrations, the federal government didn’t require any of the bars, golf equipment and eating places — some positioned on Itaewon’s slim alleys and facet streets — to submit a security administration plan.
And despite the fact that police had estimated beforehand {that a} crowd of 100,000 would take part, they solely deployed 137 officers — in contrast with the 6,500 despatched to a different a part of Seoul that night time for an anti-government protest a fraction of the dimensions.

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