2 more called in for questioning in Itaewon crush investigation
Two emergency monitoring officers were called in for questioning Friday by the police as part of their widening investigation into the bungled response to the crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood.
Ryu Mi-jin, former senior emergency monitoring officer at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA), appeared before a special investigation team in western Seoul as a suspect.
Ryu is under suspicion of failing to promptly understand the situation on Oct. 29, resulting in the deaths of 158 people, mostly those in their 20s.
Another SMPA emergency monitoring officer also appeared for questioning. The other officer is under suspicion of belatedly reporting the situation to Ryu on the day.
The special investigation team said it has temporarily concluded that Lee Im-jae, who formerly headed Yongsan Police Station, which covers the Itaewon district, did not request additional police.
Lee, who is temporarily suspended from his post, earlier said he had requested the SMPA to dispatch more police officers for a safety mission during the Halloween period.
Lee, who has been questioned twice, is being investigated for professional negligence and manslaughter by negligence resulting in the deaths.
Choi Seong-beom, chief of the Yongsan Fire Station, is set to appear for questioning Saturday for a second time.
Choi, being investigated for professional negligence, is accused of inaction in the face of police requests for a joint response.