After a devastating mass panic at Halloween celebrations in 2022, with more than 150 deaths, the police chief of the South Korean capital, Seoul, was charged. Kim Kwang Ho is accused of professional negligence resulting in injury or death, the Public Prosecutor's Office said yesterday (local time).
On the night of October 29, 2022, around 100,000 people, mostly young people, filled the narrow streets of Seoul's Itaewon nightlife district without police intervention. As a result of the mass panic, more than 150 people died.
According to prosecutors, Kim “did not take necessary measures” that day, such as sending sufficient police forces, although he was able to “predict possible dangers.” Kim is the highest-ranking police officer to be tried over the tragedy.
Although prosecutors had already charged other officers, they had not yet made a decision regarding Kim. Victims' families expressed disappointment that the decision to press charges was taken so late. Kim must “immediately resign from office” and face trial, they said.