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Death Toll in Daegu Is Likely to Reach 200

Posted February. 26, 2003 22:42,   


As seven more bodies are found in the Daegu subway train No. 1080 on the 26th, 135 bodies are found only in No. 1080, bringing the current count to 189. Total death toll is likely to rise to 200 people after additional identification for one or two days.

According to the Daegu disaster headquarters, however, over 300 people are reported to have been missing. Even if 200 bodies are identified eventually (currently 47 are identified), it will be still not known whether rest 150 people are dead or alive. What is the exact death toll in Daegu?

The Daegu Metropolitan Subway Corp. (DMSC) reported right after the attack that 255 people were in the No. 1079 train (for Ahnshim), and 185 were in the No. 1080 train (for Daegok). As there are almost no remains or bodies in No. 1079 train, it is presumed that most of victims were in No. 1080 train.

The only way to estimate how many passengers were in No. 1080 at the time of the attack is to use electronic statistic of the DMSC. All the passengers including those who used tickets are estimated on the basis of those who used the Traffic Card and its rate (24%).

Passengers of trains toward Daegok including No. 1080, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on the 18th, were estimated at 1665. As nine trains for Daegok ran in an hour, 185 passengers, which is one ninth of 1665 were estimated to be in No. 1080.

The DMSC`s assumed number of passengers from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in May, 20th 2002 was 207 people in trains for Daegok, 255 people in trains for Ahnshim.

The number of passengers who got into the train for Anshim in the neighboring stations at the time of the attack is estimated 296 in Daegu Station, 283 in Chilsung Station, 318 in Shinchun Station, 293 in Dongdaegu Station. A person from the DMSC said, “I think that there was almost no one standing in the cars because it was weekday morning.” He also added, “Estimation based on the traffic card may have a maximum error of 10%.”

Considering this possible error, it is possible that the actual number of passengers in No. 1080, in which the almost victims were, was at least 50 people more than the initially estimated 185 people. This can lead to controversy whether the missing persons should be presumed as dead in the attack or not.

△Sampoong Department Store Collision Case= 1009 people were reported to have been missing when Sampoong Department Store collapsed in June 1995, 502 people dead and 937 injured. Among those missing persons, 31 were presumed to be dead even though bodies were not found. Committee for screening missing persons at that time decided to presume missing persons as dead in case the missing person was department store staff, there was a personal item identified, or there was a witness. In the case of Daegu subway arson attack, missing persons will be presumed as dead in considering followings: whether there are personal items which can be identified; the location can be confirmed by cellular phone; they were commuter on the subway; they can be recognized in CCTV. However, the controversy over the missing persons is likely to continue because the flames over 1000 centigrade may have burnt bodies and their belongings to ashes.

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