Over 1,000 police personnel to be deployed in Seoul during Halloween week

Seoul police deploy officers to prevent overcrowding and ensure safety during Halloween week, one year after a tragic stampede

South Korea takes precautions to prevent a repeat of last year's Itaewon tragedy during halloween
(photo: IANS)
South Korea takes precautions to prevent a repeat of last year's Itaewon tragedy during halloween (photo: IANS)


 South Korean police on Monday, 23 October announced plans to deploy over 1,000 personnel in narrow streets in Seoul to prevent overcrowding during Halloween week, as officials brace for massive gatherings on the holiday, a year after the crowd crush in the city's Itaewon area claimed 159 lives.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said it will implement safety measures from Friday to Tuesday in 16 locations, including in the special tourist zones of Itaewon and Hongdae, the shopping district of Myeongdong, the nightlife area near Konkuk University and Gangnam Station, reports Yonhap News Agency.

A total of 1,260 personnel from 12 police stations and 10 police squads will be deployed to reinforce safety in the areas on Friday and Saturday, when the greatest numbers of people are expected.

The police also plan to set up five vehicles with lighting and broadcast functions to be able to give announcements if the crowd needs to break up, as well as using police lines to guide people.

The police have specially designated 16 narrow streets in the Mapo, Yongsan and Gangnam districts as being at risk of overcrowding, including the narrow alley next to the Hamilton Hotel, where the Itaewon tragedy took place, and will carry out special management in the areas.

"We expect crowds to go to the Mapo and Gangnam districts rather than the Yongsan district this year," a Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency official said.

"In narrow alleyways, we will secure room for waiting lines at clubs and for people to pass through by shining lights and broadcasting messages."

The safety plans include teaming up with local governments to manage dangerous obstacles on roads and sidewalks, and positioning special police squads in three major subway stations to prevent major crimes and large-scale terrorism.

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Published: 23 Oct 2023, 3:27 PM