On the 23rd, the Special Investigation Headquarters of the National Police Agency (Special Edition), which is investigating the poor response of the government and local governments to the Itaewon disaster, ordered nine additional police, fire fighting, and district office officers, including Park Seong- min, former head of public security intelligence and foreign affairs department of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
The special edition said that four additional policemen were ordered that day, including Park’s former manager, the former Yongsan Police Station 112 situation chief, the former Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency situation team leader, and a Yongsan police officer. In the Yongsan-gu Office, three people were booked, including Yoo Seung-jae, the deputy head of the district office, the head of the Construction and Transportation Safety Bureau, and the head of the disaster safety department. The Yongsan Fire Station on-site command team leader and Itaewon station manager were also formally charged. A total of 17 people have been charged in connection with the disaster so far.
Director Park and the staff of the intelligence department at the Yongsan Police Station are charged with causing the destruction of evidence and destruction of evidence, respectively. The former Park manager, who is being summoned for questioning on the 24th, is suspected of having ordered the information report posted on the police internal network by an employee of the Police Station Information Department Yongsan before the disaster was deleted after the disaster happened. At the time, the report included concerns about the crowds in Itaewon on the occasion of Halloween.
The special edition said that in the process of deleting the information report, the circumstances that former manager Park had previously reported or shared with senior officials such as Kim Gwang-ho, head of the Seoul Metropolitan Government have not noted. The special edition plans to call Commissioner Kim once the related investigation is complete.
Except for Park’s former manager and the staff of the information department at the Yongsan Police Station, the other seven suspects are charged with negligence due to work-related negligence.
The former head of the 112 Situation Department in Yongsan-seo, who has been under investigation since 10 am on the same day, worked at the Itaewon site from the evening on the day of the accident as the person in charge, but was accused of failing with taking appropriate action. In the special version, the former head of Situation Team 3 of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, who was on duty on the same day, was also booked as there was a problem with the measures at the time.
The special version judged that there was a problem in taking appropriate measures as the command officer on site after the Yongsan Fire Station field control team leader arrived at the scene on the day of the accident and before Choi Seong-beom, Yongsan Fire Station commander, made a statement of command . The police see the golden time for rescue around 11 pm
Chief Choi Seong-beom, who is scheduled for a second summons on the 26th, completely refutes the accusations. The special issue dismissed this as “a simple denial of the allegations.” “According to the secure plan, safe work and patrol are clearly separated, and the safe workplace is clearly designated in front of the Hamilton Hotel,” said Kim Dong-wook, a spokesman the special section.
Regarding the prosecution of the Itaewon station manager, the special edition explained, “We discovered that the Itaewon station manager had the authority to request it to the control center without the request of the police or the local government to pass without stopping.” It was believed that the failure to pass without stopping on the day was linked to the cause of the accident.
On the 27th of last month, two days before the disaster, Mayor Bu-gu Yoo attended the Halloween safety meeting held at the district office instead of Yongsan-gu Park Mayor Hee-young presided over the meeting. Police are investigating whether security control and response measures at the Yongsan-gu site were appropriate. The Construction and Transportation Safety Director of the Yongsan-gu Office and the Disaster Safety Manager were also ordered to be responsible for disaster safety management. The special issue said, “It did not hold allegations of illegal expansion.”
Among the officials also booked that day, none of them belonged to the Ministry of Public Administration and Security or the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The special edition is supposed to investigate public officials of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security as witnesses for two days from this day, and the investigation of Seoul officials is coordinating the schedule.
The special issue investigated the accusation against the firefighters’ union the Korean Civil Service Employees Union, which accused Public Administration and Security Minister Lee Sang-min of dereliction of duty, business negligence, and accidental death.
The special version plans to apply for arrest warrants for the main suspects around next week.