Lee Jae-ho from Daegu inspected the items on the floor of the multi-purpose indoor sports center located at Wonhyoro, Yongsan of Seoul at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Lee stopped in front of pair of shoes and began to sob. His family wrapped their arms around each other and wept.
Lee’s son (age 25), a non-commissioned officer for the military, was transported to the hospital due to a cardiac arrest from the Itaewon crowd crush that happened on Saturday and has been unconscious. “I can tell that he suffered by looking at his shoes. My only wish is for him to wake up,” the father wept.
The police have set up a lost and found center since Sunday evening so that families of the victims could look for and take away lost items. One hundred twenty-four bags, 258 pieces of closing, 256 pairs of shoes, and 156 electronic devices lined up on the floor and tables in the sports center. The lost items are returned to the families after ID confirmation. According to the police, the lost and found items weighed up to 1.5 tons.
Jang Yeo-jin, who escaped from the scene, wore a plaster on her ankle as she visited the Lost and Found Center with her father. “I came to get my bag, which got lost in the crowd. I am grateful to be alive but greatly saddened when I think of those who lost their lives,” the 21-year-old said. A mobile phone that a police officer charged rang as soon as it was turned on. “Can I get my family’s things back?” asked a man in a shaky voice.
The lost items reflect the tragic situation of the disaster. The clothing and shoes were stained and wrinkled, and some had clear signs of blood. Vomit stains and shoeprints were found on a black jumper. Broken shoe heels, ruffled sweaters, and shattered glasses suggest the urgency of the dire situation.
The police decided to run the Lost and Found Center for 24 hours until Sunday. Those who wish to pick up their items will be asked for ID identification and fill out a simple form. Bereaved family members can receive the belongings of the victims. Lost and Found information can be found by calling the Itaewon Accident Lost and Found (02-2198-0109,0111) or the National Police Agency Lost and Found Management System (www.lost112.go.kr).