Singer Kim C, a resident of Itaewon, testified about the situation at the time of the Itaewon disaster.
Kim C conducted an interview by phone in “Hook Interview” of KBS1 Radio’s “Joo Jin-woo Live”, which aired on Nov 1st.
On this day, Kim C confessed that he was shocked by the Itaewon disaster that occurred on Oct 29th, saying, “I was near there (at the time of the disaster) and I was in a very helpless state because I couldn’t play any role.”
Regarding the situation at the time of the accident, he recalled, “The accident site was in the alley on the left of Hamilton Hotel. I had a schedule, so I walked from home with my equipment and arrived at the building next to the alley on the right at around 11:30 PM. From the moment I walked up, a lot of fire trucks and ambulances passed by.”
He testified, “I had to wait until 2 AM. I heard that there was a fatal accident, so I went up to the roof of the building and saw people doing CPR in front of Hamilton Hotel. I also saw dead bodies covered with blankets.”
Kim C explained, “It was around 11:40. It wasn’t easy for me to see the police. There weren’t so many policemen. Most of them were emergency workers and firefighters. So I even thought, ‘Why aren’t there policemen here?’ There was no road control at all.”
He emphasized, “As far as I remember, when it was past 12 PM, about 20 police officers walked in two rows from Noksapyeong to Hamilton Hotel. I could see them because they were wearing fluorescent clothes. I thought, ‘You aren’t aware of this situation right now.’ If the situation had been accurately grasped, all the police would have run there.”
Besides, regarding the point that there were too many people on the night of the disaster, he said, “Halloween and Itaewon Cultural Festival are always the biggest events in Itaewon. It was just as usual. There were much more people before COVID-19.”
He pointed out, “I’m not sure if it was 2016 or 2017, but there was a police line at that time. However, I didn’t see anything like that this time. I didn’t see any police line or traffic control.”
Kim C is in charge of vocals and guitar in the rock band Hot Potato. It is known that he has been living near Itaewon for 10 years.
According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, as of 11 PM on Nov 1st, the total number of casualties caused by the disaster was 313, including 156 deaths and 157 injuries.