Foreign media “1,300 police officers deployed to BTS’s concert… But only 137 for Halloween in Itaewon”

In light of the Itaewon crowd crushing disaster, foreign media criticized it compared to the case of BTS’s concert.

On November 1st, the New York Times reported in an article titled “Experts say that the crowd surge in Seoul could clearly have been avoided’ that fewer police were deployed at Halloween events in Itaewon than police mobilized for BTS concerts in the past.

itaewon stampede

The New York Times said, “When K-pop group BTS held a concert with 55,000 attendees, 1,300 police officers were deployed. It didn’t happen at the Halloween party in Itaewon, which was crowded with tens of thousands of young people due to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. There were only 137 police officers at the scene.”

The article’s author then mentioned the Global Village Festival held in Itaewon earlier, explaining, “Unlike when the government-sponsored global festival was held, there were no vehicle control and pedestrian guidance police lines on the day of the Halloween disaster.”

itaewon stampede

The New York Times continued, “(Korean police) is famous for carefully planning the crowd so that it doesn’t get out of control. But there was no such (plan) on October 29.”

In addition, the author pointed out, “Most of the police deployed were ordered to prevent crimes against sexual harassment, theft, and drug use. The fatality was clear to the authorities’ decision. More than 150 people were killed in a narrow alley.” 

Itaewon stampede

Professor Millard Hagani of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, said, “This incident was absolutely avoidable,” urging the government to pay attention. 

Also read: Halloween stampede tragedy in Seoul: At least 149 people died

Source: dispatch

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