Cabbie dies in anti-carpool blaze

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Cabbie dies in anti-carpool blaze

A taxi driver burned himself to death Wednesday in an apparent protest of the introduction of carpooling services by the country’s taxi-hailing app operators.

The 76-year-old man, identified only by his surname, Ahn, set fire on himself at around 3:19 a.m. near Seoul Plaza in central Seoul, according to police.

He was immediately taken to a hospital where he died.

Ahn is believed to have burned himself in protest of the adoption of carpooling services, given that he reportedly put signs expressing opposition to carpooling services on his vehicle.

Two taxi drivers burned themselves to death in December 2018 and January in protest against the services. Another driver set fire on himself in February but survived.

Taxi associations have been strongly opposed to the introduction of carpooling services by the taxi-hailing app operators, such as Kakao Mobility, claiming it will put their business in jeopardy.

Taxi drivers claim carpooling services will eventually take away their passengers and that the services could be used around the clock, as flexible working hours have blurred the traditional notion of commuting hours.

Yonhap

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