Seoul Eureka News Now —
A senior South Korean police inspector investigated in connection with the deadly Halloween crowds in Seoul has been found dead at his home.
The inspector was found dead by his family around 12:45 p.m. on Friday, according to South Korean police.
The police announced that they would investigate the circumstances.
The news comes after investigators raided the offices of the Yongsan District Police Station, which monitors Itaewon’s nightlife, where the crush took place.
In one of the country’s worst disasters, 156 people died after tens of thousands of costumed revelers celebrating Halloween poured into the popular nightlife district, many of them trapped as the narrow streets became clogged.
Public anger over the disaster has increased since it was revealed members of the public had called police hours before the tragedy to warn of overcrowding problems.
Korean authorities have also come under fire after witnesses said little or no crowd control measures were taken on the night of the crowding in Itaewon – despite police receiving warnings well in advance.
Last week, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said investigators raided eight of its offices and seized documents related to reports made by members of the public to the 112 emergency number.
The raids were conducted by a special investigative unit set up by the National Police Agency (NPA) to investigate the disaster. The NPA said last week it suspended the chief of the Yongsan Police Station, one of the police stations closest to the scene of the clash.
Records given to Eureka News Now by the NPA show that four hours before the incident, police received at least 11 calls from people in Itaewon concerned about the possibility of a crowd.
The first call came at 6:34 p.m., when a caller warned, “It looks really dangerous… I’m afraid people might get crushed.”
Another caller said less than two hours later that there were so many people in Itaewon’s narrow streets that they kept falling and injuring themselves.
Speaking to the media last week, NPA chief Yoon Hee-keun admitted for the first time that the police had made mistakes in their response.
He added that the police response to the 911 calls was “inadequate” and that he felt “a great responsibility” as the agency chief.