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South Korean police seek manslaughter charges over deadly Halloween crush.

WORLD

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean police are seeking involuntary manslaughter. And negligence charges against 23 officials, including law enforcement officers. For a lack of security measures they say was responsible for a surge in crowds. That killed 160 people last year.

Seoul police deployed 137 officers to the capital’s nightlife district of Etawan on the day of the crash. Despite crowds expected to reach more than 100,000 over the Halloween weekend. Those officers focused on monitoring drug use and violent crime. Which experts say left few resources for pedestrian safety.

Son Jae-Han, who led the National Police Agency’s special investigation into the incident. Said Friday that his team will now refer the case to prosecutors. Those recommended for indictment include Park Hee-young. Who is the mayor of Seoul’s Yongsan district. And Lee Im-jae, the district’s former police chief — two of the six arrested.

Officials also faltered in their response after people started falling over.

The results of the 74-day police investigation announced. By Son confirmed much of what was already clear. That police and government officials in Yongsan failed to use meaningful crowd. Control measures for the expected number of Halloween revelers. And that pedestrian calls to the police hotline were ignored. A swell crowd was warned hours before the wave turned deadly on October 29.

Officials also faltered in their response after people started falling over. A narrow alley jammed with partygoers near the Hamilton. Hotel around 10 p.m. and failed to establish effective control of the scene. And allow rescue workers to reach the injured in time, Son said.

“Misjudgment of the situation, slow distribution of information about the situation. Poor cooperation between concerned agencies. And delays in rescue operations were among the overlapping failures. That caused the high number of casualties,” Son told a news conference in Seoul.

It is unclear whether the results of the police investigation will be enough to calm public anger. And demands for government accountability. As the country still struggles to cope with its worst disaster in a decade.

Opposition lawmakers and some relatives of the victims have demanded

Opposition lawmakers and some relatives of the victims have demanded. Investigations into more high-profile figures such. As Interior and Security Minister Lee Sang-min and National Police. Agency Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun, who have faced calls to resign.

But, Son said the special investigation team would close. Investigations into the Ministry of Interior and Security. The National Police Agency and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, saying. It was difficult to establish their direct responsibility.

Some experts have called the crash in Etawan a “man-made disaster.” That could have been prevented with simple measures. Such as hiring more police officers. And public workers to watch bottleneck points, implementing one-way walk lanes. And blocking or blocking narrow roads. Turn off Itaewon’s subway station prevents large numbers of people moving in the same direction.

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