8 government officials die after van crashes in fog

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8 government officials die after van crashes in fog

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Agriculture Minister Chang Tae-pyong on Saturday visited a memorial altar at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul for ministry officials who died. [YONHAP]

Eight government officials died in a car accident on Friday night in Taean County, South Chungcheong, after participating in a workshop. Police suspect that the vehicle crashed into a rock after hitting a foggy patch.

Seven of the dead were officials at the regional development division of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries including Kim Young-jun, 42, the division head. Moon Sun-ho, 54, an employee at the Taean County office, was driving the officials back to their lodging in a minivan, a Kia Grand Carnival, after they attended a workshop regarding regional agricultural development.

Officials at the workshop finished dinner at around 8:35 p.m. Friday, according to the ministry. After the vehicle was over two hours late in arriving at the lodging, officials who had taken another van went searching for the group and found the vehicle around 11:56 p.m. “By the time police got there, all those inside the van were dead,” said an official of the Taean maritime police.

“As this tragedy occurred while the officials were on the job, we plan to discuss the matter with the Ministry of Public Administration and Security so that it can be classified under ‘death in the line of duty’,” said an official at the agriculture ministry. Agriculture Minister Chang Tae-pyong ordered that the funeral for the officials be handled as a ministry ceremony.

Thirteen out of 16 officials at the regional division participated in the workshop.


By Cho Jae-eun [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article

농림부 직원, 태안 현장방문중 교통사고 8명 사망 참변


농림수산식품부 공무원들이 현장방문중 교통사고로 사망하는 참변이 발생했다.

농림수산식품부는 지난 26일 충남 태안군 남면 소재 별주부 마을 인근에서 농촌정책국 지역개발과 직원 7명과 태안군청 직원 등 8명이 탄 승합차가 바위에 충돌해 전원이 사망했다고 27일 밝혔다. 이날 사망자는 지역경제개발과장 김모씨(42) 등 같은 부처 소속 직원 7명과 이들을 안내한 태안군청 직원 문모씨(54) 등 총 8명이다.

경찰에 따르면 농림수산식품부 지역개발과 직원들은 26, 27일 1박2일 일정으로 국립식물검역원 평택사무소와 태안군에 있는 농촌마을종합개발사업 별주부권역을 방문했다. 이후 이들은 별주부 마을 워크숍을 끝낸 뒤 남면의 한 횟집에서 저녁 식사를 마친 후 오후 8시30분께 차량 2대에 나눠 타고 숙소로 향했다.

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