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(LEAD) PM urges people to refrain from sharing hate comments, footage of Itaewon tragedy

All News 14:51 October 31, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with PM's quote, visit to mourning altar)

SEOUL, Oct. 31 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on Monday called on people to refrain from posting hate comments or sharing footage and unconfirmed information on the deadly crowd surge that killed more than 150 over the weekend.

"On the Internet and social media, some users are posting hate comments about the victims, and sharing false information and provocative footage of the accident," Han told a central government response meeting. "I plead that users absolutely refrain from this kind of behavior."

Noting that all but one of the 154 fatal victims have been identified, Han said the government will do its best to support the bereaved families, including those based outside of Seoul and coming from abroad, on the funeral procedures.

Han called on officials to do their best to cope with the aftermath of the tragedy.

The deadly crush happened Saturday night when a massive crowd of Halloween partygoers packed a narrow 3.2-meter-wide alley in Seoul's entertainment district of Itaewon. Some of them began to fall over, causing others to fall down like "dominoes" and pile up on one another.

"The government will thoroughly look into the cause of the accident and do its best to revise necessary policies so that such a tragedy will not recur," Han said, asking the Seoul city government and the Yongsan Ward office to ramp up response measure efforts, including running mourning altars.

He also voiced gratitude to members of the public who voluntarily joined in rescue efforts at the scene.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo (L) presides over a government response meeting at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters in Seoul on Oct. 31, 2022. (Yonhap).

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo (L) presides over a government response meeting at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters in Seoul on Oct. 31, 2022. (Yonhap).

Han, who visited a mourning altar set up at Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall, stressed that bipartisan cooperation is crucial in preventing similar tragedies.

"We need to put our heads together and cooperate on policies that will help make a safer Republic of Korea," the prime minister said, adding providing measures and supporting the funeral procedures should be the top priority now.

Han said the exact cause of the accident will be determined through investigation.

mlee@yna.co.kr
(END)

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