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Sangju Stampede Controversy Continues

Posted October. 05, 2005 07:18,   


Reports indicate that the stampede that occurred at a stadium in Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province, on October 3, was a tragedy that resulted from pushing ahead with an event.

On top of that, suspicions are being raised that Sangju city made a backdoor deal with the International Culture and Promotion Association (ICPA) that signed a contract for a “MBC Pop Concert.”

In response, the Daegu Public Prosecutors’ Office launched an investigation into this accident yesterday, and the Sangju Police Station decided to arrest a person identified as Lee (38), a guard firm’s employee in charge of the scene on charges of professional negligence resulting in death. Lee is suspected of instructing employees to open the third gate of the stadium.

According to the Sangju Police Station and Sangju city, it was confirmed that they first had planned to deploy 50 guards around the stadium, but only 21 guards were actually deployed there.

In particular, it was reported that since eight guards inside and outside the gate were deployed around the entrance of the third gate, the site of the stampede, the accident was beyond their capabilities, given a total of 5,000 citizens who thronged the gate.

Regarding the controversy over the police’s cooperation in deploying its policemen, the agency claimed that it had asked the Sangju police to deploy a total of 200 guards, but the police refuted the agency’s claim, saying that it had asked the agency to send an official document that states the number of guards on two occasions, but that the agency had neglected its request. In response, the National Police Agency launched an inspection on the Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency and Sangju Police Station yesterday.

In addition to this controversy, with the fact that the head of ICPA, identified as Kim (65), is Sangju Mayor Kim Geun-soo’s younger sister’s husband being revealed, suspicions of backdoor dealings are arising.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday, the number of casualties stood at a total of 93, including 11 killed, 66 hospitalized and 16 who returned home after receiving treatment. Among the injured, two persons were seriously wounded.