Inadequate visitor control is the cause of the Itaewon Halloween tragedy – South Korean PM

Inadequate visitor control is the cause of the Itaewon Halloween tragedy – South Korean PM

SEOUL: The crowd stampede that broke out Saturday night in South Korea’s Itaewon district during Halloween celebrations was partly the result of poor crowd management, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said on Tuesday.

“One of the main causes (of the incident) is crowd management, with (South Korea) having little institutional support and no sufficient systematic action,” Han said at a press conference with foreign journalists in Seoul, Xinhua reported.

Han said that although more police officers were deployed to Itaewon, it had limited powers to control the crowd due to the lack of comprehensive regulations for the purpose.

He vowed to improve the relevant regulations to avoid such disasters from happening again, noting that the cause of the incident would be known after the police completed the investigation.

At least 156 people were killed and 151 injured in the country’s worst incident since a ferry sank in April 2014 that killed 304, mostly high school students.

The incident is believed to have been caused by people entering a narrow hilly lane and falling in a popular nightlife district in Seoul.

Most of the victims were in their teens, 20s and 30s when more than 100,000 people gathered in Itaewon to celebrate Halloween without face masks, the country’s biggest event since the outbreak of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

The lack of police officers to control the people who were trapped and squeezed on the congested road is believed to have triggered the incident.

According to the police 137 members were mobilized for the Halloween event on Saturday.

source – BERNAMA

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