A South Korean safety official has reportedly committed suicide in the wake of this week’s tragedy at a 4Minute concert in Seongman. Some 16 K-pop fans, many of whom were believed to be pre-adolescent, were killed and another 11 were injured when a grate collapsed, causing the concertgoers to fall down a 65-foot shaft.
According to The Telegraph reports, the body of the 37-year-old official, whose surname was given as Oh, was found early Saturday morning. According to reports, Oh jumped off a building near the site of concert event sometime on Friday, having been recently interrogated by South Korean police and disaster response units. According to one official, the man left a note: “I am sorry for the dead victims … Please take a good care of my children.”
15 other individuals were questioned in regards to the tragredy. As one representative of the police told local news agency Yonhap, “If it turns out that safety regulations were ignored, we would bring criminal charges against them.” Several witnesses have told the South Korean media that there were neither security guards nor safety barricades at the concert, leading to an overflow of spectators making their way onto the nearby gratings.
Professor Chung Jae-Hee of the Seoul National University of Science and Technology, who specializes in safety engineering, told the AFP that this was a “man-made disaster,” adding, “These kind of safety hazards are latent in many places all over this country. Over the past decades, economic expansion always took precedence over safety concerns, resulting in the lack of safety conciousness among Koreans.”