Grieving South Korean father seeks justice for Halloween crush victims By Reuters



© Reuters. Cho Gi-Dong, who misplaced his 24-year-old daughter Ye-jin within the lethal Halloween crush in Seoul a month in the past, cries as he visits a charnel home the place her stays are saved in Daejeon, South Korea, November 29, 2022. REUTERS/Heo Ran


By Hyun Younger Yi and Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) – Taking day off work, South Korean bus driver Cho Gi-Dong has visited a crypt the place the stays of his 24-year-old daughter are saved virtually day-after-day since she perished in a lethal crush on the evening of Halloween a month in the past.

Ye-jin was amongst 158 individuals who died within the catastrophe on slim lane in Seoul on Oct. 29. She was Cho’s solely baby.

“My coronary heart nonetheless throbs as if there is a rock in right here, however I can’t take that out,” Cho stated, pointing to his chest as he stood within the vault of the crematorium within the central metropolis of Daejeon.

“Kids who misplaced their dad and mom are orphans, however there is not any phrase for folks who misplaced their kids. I’ve discovered one – a sinner. I felt so responsible for shedding her,” he stated, holding again his tears as he gripped a pockets he had gifted Ye-jin when she went to school 5 years in the past.

Dressed as Princess Jasmine from the Disney animated movie “Aladdin”, Ye-jin had gone for the evening out within the capital Seoul with two buddies. In addition they misplaced their lives.

The catastrophe unfolded as revellers flooded the alleyways of the nightlife district of Itaewon to have fun the primary COVID-19 curbs-free Halloween festivities in three years.

Many of the lifeless from that nightmarish evening had been of their twenties and thirties. Lots of the lifeless have been suffocated within the crush. Practically 200 others escaped with accidents.

Cho requested go away after Ye-jin’s dying, disadvantaged of sleep and feeling helpless about having been unable to avoid wasting her life.

His sorrow turned to anger particularly after the discharge of transcripts of emergency calls displaying that individuals had repeatedly warned of the hazards and urged intervention hours earlier than the catastrophe struck.

Police confronted stringent public criticism and scrutiny over its responses to these calls, and an investigation is underway into authorities’ general dealing with of the catastrophe.

Final week, some relations of victims held a information convention demanding a authorities apology and a radical investigation.

President Yoon Suk-yeol, Inside Minister Lee Sang-min and Nationwide Police Commissioner Normal Yoon Hee-keun have pledged to conduct a clear investigation and to take crucial steps as soon as it concludes.

Cho stated he has not acquired any provide of assist from the federal government apart from steering on how he will be reimbursed for funeral prices and obtain what’s termed “comfort cash”.

“We do not want cash, we dwell effectively sufficient with out that cash. That is not the way in which to console us bereaved households,” Cho stated.

“If we get a correct apology and see these accountable strictly punished, it could scale back my anger by a tenth, or one-ten thousandth, at the least by a bit bit.”

Lee Ju-hee, from a collective of human rights attorneys known as Minbyun, stated practically 60 households have joined a marketing campaign for justice.

“Ultimately some would search damages fits,” Lee stated. “However what’s essential to us proper now could be the reality – why our youngsters needed to die on the road that now we have walked previous on a regular basis believing it could be protected.”

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