Electric shocks at Lotte World Mall injure two

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Electric shocks at Lotte World Mall injure two

Two workers at Lotte World Mall were rushed to the hospital after being injured by electric shocks, reviving safety concerns about the building just three days after the reopening of its aquarium and cinema.

The workers were replacing the duct encasing an electrical cord at the concert hall on the building’s eighth floor when the cord gave off electric sparks. One worker received first- to second-degree burns and another was mildly injured, according to Lotte.

The workers were immediately transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Songpa Fire Station is investigating the accident.

Seoul Metropolitan Government has issued a “verbal warning,” demanding that Lotte thoroughly manage safety issues in its building.

The site manager has been switched and safety personnel overseeing the site of the accident were fired, a Lotte spokesman said.

He added that partner firms that fail to follow safety protocols will not be invited to bid on Lotte construction projects for six months.

But the future of Lotte’s glassy edifice hangs precariously, as accidents continue to tarnish its reputation.

Since it opened in October, three members of its construction crews have fallen to their deaths and two visitors were struck by a glass door that fell on top of them.

Five months ago, a crack in one of the fish tanks at the aquarium and moviegoers’ complaints of tremors and noises in the cinema forced Seoul city government to close both.

The ban was lifted last week following inspections by industry experts and academic.

Lotte tried to ease the public’s anxieties by giving away 37,000 free passes to the cinema and aquarium prior to the facilities’ official reopening. The PR strategy seemed to be working, as nearly 260,000 people visited Lotte World Mall from May 9 to 11. Lotte had expected the numbers to increase even more by this weekend.

“We regret to have worried citizens,” said Lotte in a statement. “We will put more efforts in prevention and will strictly deal with accidents that are caused by lack of regards to safety measures.”

BY PARK JUNG-YOUN [jungyoun.park@joongang.co.kr]
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