Court issues arrest warrant for Yongsan Ward office chief over Itaewon crush

SEOUL– Yongsan Ward office chief Park Hee-young was arrested Monday on charges of failing to take steps to prevent and promptly respond to the deadly crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood.

The Seoul Western District Court issued an arrest warrant for Park, who is accused of professional negligence resulting in death for failing to draw up sufficient accident prevention measures for Halloween crowds and to promptly respond to the Oct. 29 crowd crush in Yongsan’s Itaewon district that killed 158 people.

Also on Monday, an official in charge of safety and disaster prevention at the Yongsan Ward office attended the hearing alongside Park, as the court was to review whether to issue a warrant to arrest him as well in connection with the bungled response to the crowd crush.

The official was charged with professional negligence resulting in death and dereliction of duties for allegedly failing to live up to his duties to forestall a safety accident in the ward and promptly respond to an emergency situation. Even after becoming aware of the eruption of the deadly crush while drinking with an acquaintance on the night of the accident, he went home to sleep, not to the accident site.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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