Police officer investigated in Seoul stampede found dead

While Seoul is looking for those responsible for the human stampede that left more than 150 dead in the celebrations of last Halloween, one of the people investigated for allegedly destroying evidence in relation to one of the worst tragedies in the country has died. It is the police officer of the Yongsan District Police Station, named Jeong and 55 years old. While waiting for an autopsy, the police have not found any note that indicates that he took his own life, but his co-workers have indicated that they received calls the day before that point to that possibility.

Both the Yongsan city council and its fire and police departments are under investigation on suspicion that they did not respond adequately when the tragedy occurred and that they ignored calls to increase the police presence in the Itaewon neighborhood, which belongs to the aforementioned district. and where the number of people who came to celebrate Halloween increased every year.

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David Juarez

The accumulation of people, most of them teenagers or twenty-somethings, in a neighborhood alley caused an avalanche that left 156 dead and 33 seriously injured on the night of October 29.

Jeong was being investigated and had been temporarily suspended from his post on November 9 on suspicion that he ordered the removal of a report that warned of a possible accident in Itaewon during these annual celebrations. He was facing charges including abuse of authority, destruction of evidence and professional negligence resulting in death.

The mayor, the other investigated

In turn, the team investigating the tragedy banned the mayor of Yongsan, Park Hee Young, from leaving the country on Friday, who has already been accused of negligence resulting in death. The investigation is focusing on whether Park had a proper disaster prevention plan in place for the Halloween crowds — the neighborhood welcomed more than 100,000 people this year — and whether she did her duty when it came to responding to the tragedy.

According to some reports, Park was absent from several high-level meetings on security management in the district in the days leading up to the deadly melee and was also absent from subsequent crisis cabinet meetings, although in this case she was not required to. thereto.