‘Manmade disaster’: Officials criticized over Seoul deaths

As South Korea mourns, officials are facing tough questions about preparations for the celebrations and demands for accountability in the wake of the country’s worst disaster in nearly a decade.

By

World News

October 31, 2022 - 4:03 PM

Mourners pay tribute in front of a joint memorial altar for victims of the deadly Halloween crowd surge, outside the city hall in Seoul, on Oct. 31, 2022. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Seoul police assigned 137 officers to manage a crowd of Halloween revelers anticipated to number over 100,000 over the weekend — a decision that has come under intense criticism following the deaths of more than 150 people when the group surged.

By comparison, nearly 7,000 police officers were sent to another part of the South Korean capital on Saturday to monitor dueling protests that drew tens of thousands but still fewer people than flocked to the popular nightlife district of Itaewon the same night. Even the task force created to investigate why the crowd surged, with 475 members, is more three times larger than the detail assigned to crowd control.

As South Korea mourns, officials are facing tough questions about preparations for the celebrations and demands for accountability in the wake of the country’s worst disaster in nearly a decade.

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