'The local authority should have prepared thoroughly'

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'The local authority should have prepared thoroughly'

On Saturday, Halloween celebrations turned into a deadly crowd crush in Itaewon, central Seoul. The tragedy took place as a massive crowd converged in the neighborhood, resulting in over 150 deaths and over 100 injuries. Most of the dead were reported to be in their 20s.
Authorities expected a crowd of roughly 100,000 people to visit Itaewon to celebrate Halloween and assigned 200 police officers to the district in advance.
Even after the first report of the accident, firefighters and emergency service personnel could not reach the scene as every alleyway was packed with massive crowds.

A series of concerts, events and festivals have been called off as Korea mourns the deaths, while Halloween promotions have also been cancelled.
The government declared a period of national mourning lasting until Nov. 5. A joint memorial altar has also been set up in the center of Seoul.
“They just wanted to have fun after the pandemic. I feel so sorry for them.”
“Countermeasures including therapy for the victim’s families and witnesses should be set up swiftly.”
“I experienced the same fear when I went to an amusement park around the Halloween season. I avoid crowded places since then.”
“I was worried about the Seoul International Fireworks Festival as well. Such events or festivals where a large number of people converge simultaneously should be strictly controlled and managed.”
“During the Halloween celebrations, small alleyways used to be controlled. Weren’t there any guidelines this year?”
“The area was already crowded in the day before the accident took place. The local authority should have prepared thoroughly.”
“I was shocked by a video which showed people were singing and dancing as ambulances came into the alley.”
“Bars and clubs around the alley didn’t even turn off their music.”

BY KIM EUN-SONG, BY HAN HYE-RIM [han.hyerim1@joongang.co.kr]
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