By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- Police brought in a Yongsan Ward chief and a former high-ranking intelligence officer for questioning on Monday for the second time as part of their ongoing investigation into the bungled response to the crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood.
Yongsan Ward office chief Park Hee-young, who oversees the Itaewon district, and Park Sung-min, a superintendent general, appeared before a special investigation team at a building in western Seoul separately as suspects.
The Yongsan Ward chief has been booked on charges of professional negligence resulting in the deaths of 158 people, mostly those in their 20s, on Oct. 29. She has also been banned from leaving the country.
The team is investigating whether she had sufficient disaster prevention planning for the Halloween crowds in advance and whether she was faithful to her duties to promptly respond to the accident.
Meanwhile, Park, a superintendent general, is under suspicion of ordering the deletion of an internal intelligence report giving prior warnings of a possible safety accident during the Halloween period in a suspected attempt to cover up inaction. A superintendent general is the fourth-highest rank.
He is the highest-ranking police officer among a total of 17 police officers and government officials booked for police investigation.
The team said it plans to seek pretrial detention warrants against some of the suspects this week.
BTS fails to win Grammy for 3rd consecutive year
Pirates' Choi Ji-man says 'deeply hurt' to be dropped from WBC team
Son Heung-min partially wins lawsuit filed by former agent
S. Korea closely watching N. Korea's 'increased' activities to prepare for military parade: Seoul official
(LEAD) 23 Thai tourists out of contact after arriving in Muan Int'l Airport
Yoon's visit to UAE, Switzerland ends in economic deals
(News Focus) Fate of inter-Korean military accord hangs in balance amid Pyongyang's recalcitrance
N. Korean drone incursions pose complex security challenge to S. Korea
S. Korea puts priority on tackling inflation, revitalizing exports in 2023 policy goals
Yoon's outreach to Southeast Asia keeps China in the loop