South Korea Halloween tragedy: The police were informed
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Over 150 people died while celebrating Halloween in Seoul. One can only imagine the utter devastation of parents, family members, and friends who lost people while celebrating Halloween in the capital of South Korea.
It now transpires that the police were warned about the unfolding events in the district of Itaewon – a few hours before people were crushed to death and died from suffocation.
The BBC reports (a few hours before the tragedy) one caller told the police, “That alley is really dangerous right now people going up and down, so people can’t come down, but people keep coming up, it’s gonna be crushed. I barely made it to get out but it’s too crowded. I think you should control it.”
At least ten phone calls were made to the police to control the situation. However, instead of alleviating a potential disaster, the police allowed more people to join the growing crowd.
ABC News reports, “National police chief Yoon Hee Keun said an initial investigation found there were many urgent calls from citizens notifying authorities about the potential danger of the crowd gathering in Itaewon. He said police officers who received the calls failed to handle them effectively.”
It turns out that only 137 police officers were sent to monitor the Halloween event. However, during a recent protest in the same timeframe in Seoul, the police sent 7,000 officers.
The Korean Herald says, “From a lack of appropriate safety measures before the disaster to the authorities’ botched response afterwards, many Koreans – particularly the young generation – cannot help but ask: Had this country not learned any lessons from the Sewol tragedy?”
Yoon Hee-Keun (National Police Chief) fell asleep around 11 pm: therefore, he wasn’t informed about the crisis when it began.
Yonhap News Agency reports, “In other words, people crammed into a narrow Itaewon alleyway began to die about 45 minutes earlier and the police chief went to bed without knowing about the unfolding disaster in Seoul.”
The above is shocking beyond words!
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