Seoul mayor cuts short visit to Europe after Itaewon stampede

SEOUL– Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon arrived back home Sunday after cutting short his trip to Europe in the wake of the deadly crush in Seoul’s Itaewon district that killed over 150 people.

Oh vowed to do everything in dealing with the aftermath, and helping the victims and their families cope with the tragic accident, including support for funeral procedures.

“I pray for the souls of the deceased who have passed away. I have no words to say to the deceased and the injured,” Oh told reporters upon arriving at Incheon International Airport.

“Handling the aftermath is very important. I will make sure there will be no inconveniences with the funeral procedures and do my best so that those who’ve been injured won’t experience any difficulties in the treatment and recovery,” he said.

Oh expressed deep condolences to the family members of the deceased victims, many of whom were in their 20s.

“It is terrible that many young people have lost their lives in the accident,” Oh said. “I don’t know how to console the parents who have lost their children. I express my deepest condolences to them.”

Oh headed to the accident site in Itaewon.

Oh had been on an 11-day trip since Oct. 21 that took him to major cities in France, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands for visits to key city development sites and a global meeting of Olympic host cities.

While in Rotterdam, Oh was briefed over the phone by the chief of Seoul’s fire department on the Itaewon accident and decided to cut his trip short and return home.

He also instructed his city officials over the phone to set up an emergency headquarters to deal with the aftermath and do their best in handling the case swiftly, according to his office.

Oh was initially set to return Monday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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