Bereaved families of Itaewon crush victims set up mourning altar near accident site

SEOUL– Bereaved families of those killed in the deadly Itaewon crowd crush opened a mourning altar near the site of the tragedy Wednesday, claiming the government failed to take steps honoring the victims, such as setting up a memorial.

The launch of the mourning shrine at Itaewon Square came nearly 1 1/2 months after the deadly crowd crush that killed 158 people as angry bereaved families ratcheted up calls for an “unrestrained” investigation into the bungled government response to the accident and a formal apology from President Yoon Suk-yeol.
The altar, launched jointly with a civic group on the deadly accident, enshrines the mourning portraits and nameplates of 76 victims upon their families’ consent, and began accepting mourners in the afternoon.

Government-led memorial altars were previously set up across the country right after the accident for the public to mourn the tragedy during a weeklong national mourning period but without any portraits or nameplates of the victims.

“Although belated, we are going to begin genuine mourning and grieving in the presence of victims’ portraits and nameplates,” a member of the association of bereaved families said.

The families accused the government of failing to take appropriate measures to honor the victims, claiming the government only tried to “stop us from getting together, let alone opening a memorial place.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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