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Train Control Center Blamed for High Death Toll

Posted February. 21, 2003 22:41,   


Choi Sang-yeol, the 31-year-old engineer of the No.1080 second train who pulled the train into the platform, escaped the scene and met with two officials of Daegu Subway Corporation, Choi Seok-mun and Kim Sun-il, to discuss how to respond to police investigators, Jungbu Police Precinct said on Feb. 21 after an initial investigation.

The police also found that the driver pulled out the master key at the engineer`s seat at about 10:00 a.m. and put it into the pocket of his jacket he later changed into his own clothes before leaving the station.

At that time, passengers in the second train were desperately waiting for the door to open in a life-or-death situation.

When asked by investigators whether he thought about the consequence of taking the key with him, that the electric system was shut down and a number of passengers trapped inside were killed, he replied, ˝I made a wrong decision.˝

The police also summoned Lee, an operator working at Ansim train depot, in the afternoon of February 21 to ask whether he ever met with Choi. They will call those corporation officials suspected to have met with Choi for questioning, and file evidence manipulation or negligence charges if they find any wrongdoings.

The police are also looking into the close circuit TV recording on the day to find whether controller Hong, who failed to stop the second train from entering the station, neglected his duty.

They also plan to seize the taped recording of conversation between the driver of the first train and the central control center at the time of the accident, which will be key to understand the circumstances at the time of the fire.