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Yongsan fire station chief, ex-Yongsan police chief to be summoned for questioning next week

All News 10:11 November 17, 2022

SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Yonhap) -- The chief of the Yongsan Fire Station and a former head of the Yongsan Police Station will be summoned for questioning next week as part of a police investigation connected to the deadly crowd crush in the district's Itaewon neighborhood.

A special investigation team recently told Choi Seong-beom, chief of the Yongsan Fire Station, and ex-Yongsan Police Station head Lee Im-jae to show up for questioning on Monday, police officials said.

The two were booked for investigation last week on charges of professional negligence resulting in death for the bungled rescue response to the Oct. 29 crowd crush that killed at least 158 people during Halloween celebrations.

Choi was accused of inaction in the face of police requests for joint response on the night of the accident while Lee was suspected of failing to heed internal reports giving prior warnings of a possible safety accident and to take precautionary disaster prevention measures.

Officials said the investigation team has also booked Interior Minister Lee Sang-min on charges of professional negligence resulting in death and dereliction of duties following a recent complaint filed against him by the fire station branch of the broader government employees' labor union.

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Choi Seong-beom, chief of the Yongsan Fire Station, takes an oath during a meeting of the Seoul Metropolitan Council on Nov. 11, 2022. (Yonhap)

Choi Seong-beom, chief of the Yongsan Fire Station, takes an oath during a meeting of the Seoul Metropolitan Council on Nov. 11, 2022. (Yonhap)

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