On Tuesday, South Korea took action to quell public fury over a Halloween party crush that claimed the lives of more than 150 people, most of them children, by pledging a prompt and thorough investigation and calling for stringent new safety measures to prevent repeat tragedies.
The number of people killed and injured in the Saturday night crush at a crowded Halloween street party rose to 156, with 29 of the injured suffering critical injuries. There were at least 26 dead people, hailing from 14 different nations.
For the first essentially unrestrained Halloween celebrations in three years, tens of thousands of revellers, many of whom were in their teens and twenties and dressed in costumes, crammed into the popular Itaewon district’s small streets and lanes.
Interior Minister Lee Sang-min, the nation’s top security official, apologised on Tuesday and vowed to investigate the incident’s origins in order to stop it from happening again.