About 700 people had gathered to watch a local music festival in Seongnam when a ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed. 16 people fell 20 meters to their death while 11 others were seriously injured.
The cause of accident wasn’t immediately known, 15 individuals were questioned and if safety regulations were found to be ignored, criminal charges will be brought against them.
A South Korean safety official has reportedly committed suicide hours after tragedy struck.
The man, 37, leaped from the top of a building near the venue of the accident. He wrote a short message to his wife before leaping off the building:
“I am sorry for the dead victims… Please take a good care of my children”
According to witnesses, there were no security guards or safety barricades at the concert which lead to an overflow of spectators.
Professor Chung Jae-Hee of the Seoul National University of Science and Technology, who specializes in safety engineering, told the AFP that this was a “man-made disaster, these kind of safety hazards are latent in many places all over this country. Over the past decades, economic expansion always took precedence over safety concerns, resulting in the lack of safety consciousness among Koreans.”
Police promised a thorough investigation, saying actions will be taken to punish those responsible if violations of safety rules are found, Yonhap news agency reported citing an official.