South Korea to review security law after Seoul tragedy

Seoul, Nov 1 (EFE).- The ruling People’s Power Party said Tuesday it would seek a revision of the security and disaster management law in South Korea as a result of the tragedy in Seoul during the Halloween celebrations that claimed the lives of more than 150 people.

The death Tuesday of a 24-year-old woman raised the death toll to 155, while the lives of another 30 people are still feared and there are another 122 with minor injuries, the Disaster and Emergency Countermeasures Command reported.

The majority of the victims, 100, are women, mostly in their 20s and 30s.

Ruling party parliamentarian Sung Il-jong said Tuesday, in statements collected by the Yonhap agency, that his party would review the law to “strengthen security management in events without organizers.”

Flowers and pictures are laid to victims of the Seoul Halloween stampede, in Seoul, South Korea, 01 November 2022. EFE-EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

Sung’s words come a day after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol asked to devise a system to guarantee crowd control at events that do not have an agency or entity behind them.

Halloween is not an act organized by a specific body, such as a festival, a concert, a sporting event or a demonstration, and therefore the law in South Korea does not make it mandatory to establish security plans or protocols between relevant authorities and security forces.

The crush, which occurred in a narrow alley in a busy bar area of ​​the Itaewon neighborhood as tens of thousands of people celebrated Halloween on Saturday, is the worst tragedy to hit South Korea since the 2014 sinking of the Sewol ferry, in which 304 people lost their lives, most of them high school students. EFE

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