Two senior South Korean police officers were arrested on Monday for their roles in last October’s Halloween drama in the capital Seoul, in which 158 people died of oppression. The former officers would have withheld the information.
According to the warrants, the two officers were involved in suppressing an internal intelligence report warning of possible accidents over Halloween. Officers likely tried to cover up police inaction, writes the South Korean News Agency. Yonhap.
These are the first such arrests for which the chief of police, the mayor of Seoul and the interior minister, among others, have apologized. Authorities have previously admitted the response to the warnings has been lax.
The investigative team wanted to arrest even more people, but the court refused to issue warrants for a former police chief and an ex-cop who allegedly informed his boss too late. According to the judge, they are probably not involved in attempts to destroy evidence.
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Another officer involved was found dead
Last month, a police officer under investigation in connection with the tragedy was found dead. He worked at the police station that oversaw the entertainment area where the drama was taking place and allegedly ordered an intelligence report with missing person warnings.
More than 100,000 people had gathered in the area on October 29 for the first Halloween celebration since the coronavirus pandemic. The local authorities and the police had taken no measures for such a crowd.
Hours before the disaster, eleven emergency calls had been received about dangerous crowds, but no significant action was taken. Those who died in the tribulation were mostly young women, a number of teenagers, and more than two dozen foreigners.
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