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HomeInternationalSouth Korea police chief says crowd surge response was 'inadequate'

South Korea police chief says crowd surge response was ‘inadequate’

SEOUL: South Korea’s police chief stated Tuesday that officers had acquired a number of pressing stories of hazard forward of a lethal crowd crush at a Halloween occasion however their dealing with of them was “inadequate”.
At the least 156 principally younger folks have been killed, and scores extra injured, in a lethal crowd surge late Saturday on the first post-pandemic Halloween get together in Seoul’s fashionable Itaewon nightlife district.
An estimated 100,000 folks had flocked to the realm, however as a result of it was not an “official” occasion with a delegated organiser, neither the police nor native authorities have been actively managing the gang.
“There have been a number of stories to the police indicating the seriousness on the website simply earlier than the accident occurred,” nationwide police chief Yoon Hee-keun stated.
Police knew “a big crowd had gathered even earlier than the accident occurred, urgently indicating the hazard,” he stated, acknowledging the best way this data was dealt with had been “inadequate”.
South Korea is often sturdy on crowd management, with protest rallies usually so closely policed that officers can outnumber individuals.
However within the case of the Itaewon Halloween festivities, there was no designated occasion organiser, with folks flocking to the realm to attend occasions held by particular person bars, golf equipment and eating places.
Police stated that they had deployed 137 officers to Itaewon for Halloween — however 6,500 officers have been current at a protest throughout city that was solely attended by about 25,000 folks, native stories stated.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol stated Tuesday the nation wanted to urgently enhance its system for managing massive crowds within the wake of the catastrophe.
“The protection of the folks is necessary, whether or not or not there may be an occasion organiser,” he informed a cupboard assembly.
He referred to as for the nation to develop “cutting-edge digital capabilities” to enhance crowd administration — however critics declare such instruments exist already and weren’t deployed in Itaewon.
Seoul’s Metropolis Corridor has a real-time crowd monitoring system that makes use of cell phone information to foretell crowd measurement, but it surely was not employed Saturday night time, native media reported.
Itaewon’s district authorities additionally didn’t deploy any security patrols, with officers saying the Halloween occasion was thought of “a phenomenon” reasonably than “a pageant”, which might have required an official plan for crowd management.
On the night time, tens of hundreds of individuals thronged a slim alleyway, with eye-witnesses describing how, with no police or crowd management in sight, confused partygoers pushed and shoved, crushing these trapped within the lane.
Analysts say this was simply avoidable, even with solely a small variety of cops.
“Good, protected crowd administration is just not concerning the ratio, however concerning the crowd technique — for protected crowd capability, move, density,” stated G. Keith Nonetheless, a crowd science professor on the College of Suffolk.
South Korean professional Lee Younger-ju stated that if native police knew they might be short-handed, they might have sought assist from native authorities and even residents or store house owners.
“It is not simply the numbers,” Lee, a professor from the Division of Hearth and Catastrophe on the College of Seoul, informed AFP.
“The query is, how did they handle with the restricted quantity (of police) and what sort of measures did they take to make up for it.”

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