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[Editorial] Prompt Follow-up Measures in the Wake of Subway Arson Attack

[Editorial] Prompt Follow-up Measures in the Wake of Subway Arson Attack

Posted February. 20, 2003 23:15,   


Though the dead in the tragic subway inferno are silent, the bereaved families` waling would not stop. The survived families are suffering more, thinking that their loved ones died inhaling toxic gases surrounded by the inferno in the pitch-black dark.

Faced with this national disaster, we should express our sorrow and condolence to the bereaved families. As this area is declared as a special disaster area, the payment of compensation money and work to help those families should be done first. Also, the subway line should restart its operation as early as possible in order to reduce inconvenience for citizens in the southeastern city of Daegu. Family members of the missing people, who have still not found the bodies, are walking restlessly around the control center of the subway fire. It is the most urgent to identify bodies severely damaged from the fire using up-to-date forensic science technology.

Of course, it is also important to get to the root of the accident through a thorough investigation and call those responsible to account. However, it is much more important to prepare safety measures to prevent such accidents in the future and improve contingency plans in preparation for fires and terror attacks. An organization that does not learn a hard lesson from a disaster caused by human errors will fail to avoid even similar accidents later.

After the subway fire in Daegu, it is reported that subway passengers have decreased as much as 20 %. It reflects that the fire came as a shock to people. In order to make a safe subway that citizens can use at ease, there are a lot to do, both over the short and long term.

Most subway station platforms and stairs in Seoul are very small and narrow, so they burst at the seams during rush hours. Against this backdrop, even a small accident could lead to a high number of casualties.

It is a must to widen platforms and exit passages in the subway station and inward parts of subway cars should be replaced with non-inflammables, no matter how much it costs. An institutional plan to prepare against terrorism or contingent crimes in the subway should be worked out. Broadly speaking, these are follow-up measures to be taken in the wake of the tragic subway arson attack.