Yoon Suk Yeol, South Korea’s President, has apologised for the deadly Halloween crowd crush in Seoul, the capital city. He promised to hold all officials accountable for failing to respond effectively to the tragedy.
The President apologised on Monday during a meeting to review safety rules, as the country is currently mourning 156 crush victims, the majority of whom were women and young people in their twenties and thirties.
Yoon stated that he cannot compare himself to the parents and relatives who lost loved ones in the deadly incident, but he is heartbroken as the President of the country with the responsibility to protect the lives of citizens.
The crush happened on October 29th, when people celebrating Halloween swarmed the narrow alleyway in Seoul’s Itaewon district. The crowd was enormous because it was the first COVID 19 curb-free Halloween in three years.
According to reports, the 156 victims included approximately 26 foreigners, with an additional 197 victims injured as a result of the incident.
Since the tragedy, the police have come under fire for their response. Despite the fact that it was predicted that over 100,000 people would congregate in the area, only 137 police officers were dispatched.
President Yoon, who initially blamed the country’s crowd management and safety regulations, has also chastised the police for their slow response to the tragic event. He promised a thorough investigation and the prosecution of those responsible.