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Foreign news outlets report on the Itaewon accident as front-page news

Foreign news outlets report on the Itaewon accident as front-page news

Posted October. 31, 2022 07:56,   

Updated October. 31, 2022 07:56


Major media outlets around the world posted the Itaewon Halloween accident on front page news, pointing out scant police presence on the first Halloween weekend after pandemic-related social distance measures had largely been lifted in the city.

“It is difficult to control events where the host is undefined. If it gets too crowded, there should be exit or transportation signs. None of this appears to have been present in the event,” pointed out Professor Brian Higgins of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “All the police officers I saw were a couple of traffic police near Itaewon and Noksapyeong stations. People dressed in Halloween police officer costumes made it more confusing,” said Marco Morelli, who comes from Spain and has been living in Seoul for six years. “Korea has decades of experience managing massive street demonstrations, including political protests, which was in stark contrast to the recent accident,” the New York Times said.

Citizens who had witnessed the accident said there was a lack of police presence. “People shouted ‘push’!” I fell over on the narrow hill. I screamed, but the music drowned out the sound. Some of the police arrived belatedly and tried to control the crowd, but it was useless,” said Kim Seo-jeong (age 17), who managed to escape the scene.

The Associated Press pointed out that the Itaewon accident was a casualty that took place eight years after the sinking of the Sewol ferry incident in 2014 when 304 were killed. “There will be public demand to investigate the public safety improvement measures since the Sewol ferry accident,” it said. “In South Korea, Halloween isn’t widely celebrated as a candy-grabbing holiday for children. Twenty-somethings and other partygoers in recent years have made Halloween a major clubbing event, with many decked out in costumes.,” said the Wall Street Journal.

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