High-ranking police officer temporarily suspended in crowd crush probe

SEOUL– A high-ranking police official was temporarily suspended from his post on Monday as part of the investigation into the deadly crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood.

Park Sung-min, a superintendent general, is under suspicion of ordering the deletion of an internal intelligence report giving prior warnings of a possible safety accident during the Halloween period in a suspected attempt to cover up inaction. A superintendent general is the fourth-highest rank.

The National Police Agency (NPA) said Kim Bo-jun will temporarily replace Park as the chief of public safety department at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA).

An independent team of police investigators probing the Itaewon tragedy will soon summon Park for questioning.

Earlier, the NPA temporarily suspended Lee Im-jae, a former chief of Yongsan Police Station, and senior emergency monitoring officer Ryu Mi-jin, who was in charge at the SMPA on the day of the accident.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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