SEOUL, Nov 1 (Reuters) – South Korea moved to calm public outrage on Tuesday over a Halloween celebration crush that killed greater than 150 folks, most of them younger, promising a speedy and intensive inquiry and calling for tough new security measures to stop related disasters.
The loss of life toll from the crush at a crowded Halloween avenue celebration on Saturday climbed to 156 with 151 injured, 29 of whom had been in severe situation. At least 26 residents from 14 international locations had been among the many useless.
Tens of hundreds of revellers – many of their teenagers and twenties and wearing costume – had crowded into slim streets and alleyways of the favored Itaewon district for the primary nearly unrestricted Halloween festivities in three years.
The nation’s chief safety officer, Interior Minister Lee Sang-min, apologised on Tuesday, vowing to discover out the reason for the incident and stop related circumstances from recurring.
“As the minister overseeing the safety of the public, I express sincere apologies over the incident,” Lee mentioned, including that the federal government had “limitless responsibility over the safety of our people” as he addressed a parliamentary session televised stay.
He has come below sharp public criticism after saying that deploying extra police wouldn’t have prevented the catastrophe.
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon additionally tearfully apologised throughout a media briefing and mentioned the town authorities would put all out there administrative sources “until every citizen can return to their normal lives”.
National Police Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun earlier on Tuesday acknowledged crowd management on the scene was “inadequate,” noting that police had obtained a number of experiences warning of potential accidents on the night time of the catastrophe.
“The police will speedily and rigorously conduct intensive inspections and investigation on all aspects without exception to explain the truth of this accident,” Yoon informed a information convention.
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo mentioned the continuing investigation would cowl whether or not authorities companies’ on-site responses had been enough. He pointed to insufficient institutional measures for crowd administration as a explanation for the lethal surge.
President Yoon Suk-yeol has declared every week of nationwide mourning, saying the nation had too many security disasters. He mentioned higher responses had been vital, together with improved crowd management.
“We should come up with concrete safety measures to manage crowds, not only on these streets where this massive disaster took place but at other places like stadiums and concert venues where large crowds gather,” he mentioned at a cupboard assembly.
All the victims have been recognized and memorial altars have been arrange on the Seoul metropolis corridor and within the Itaewon district, the place residents paid their respects.
Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi and Hyonhee Shin; Writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Jacqueline Wong
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