Civic group files complaint against opposition lawmaker for riding in ambulance on day of Itaewon tragedy

SEOUL– A civic group filed a complaint against Rep. Shin Hyun-young of the main opposition Democratic Party on Tuesday for riding in an ambulance on the day of the Itaewon crowd surge and allegedly causing other emergency doctors to arrive late.

Allegations arose that one of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) ambulances arrived late at the site of the disaster on Oct. 29, as it had picked up Shin who was heading to the site for what she calls rescue operations.

The Public Welfare Committee filed a complaint against the doctor-turned-politician with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for various charges, including abuse of power and violation of the emergency medical law.

“There is reasonable doubt that (Rep. Shin) used a DMAT doctor car of Myungji University Hospital to easily get to the site under control as a means of her political activities,” the civic group said in a press release.

According to Ministry of Health and Welfare data, the ambulance, dubbed “doctor car,” carrying the lawmaker arrived between 20 and 30 minutes later than other vehicles after travelling a similar distance.

Shin, who has a degree in family medicine, argues that she simply tried to reach the site not as a lawmaker but as an emergency medical worker.

She said she will step down as a member of a special committee in charge of probing the Itaewon crowd surge that killed 158 people, mostly those in their 20s.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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