Gov't Takes Control of Halloween Festivals After Itaewon Stampede

      October 05, 2023 13:57

      The government will assume direct oversight of the upcoming Halloween events in Seoul to prevent another tragic incident like the deadly stampede in Itaewon last year.
      The Ministry of the Interior and Safety on Tuesday said some 600 festivals are scheduled across the country this month alone, or 28 percent of all of the festivals of the whole year. The ministry therefore decided to directly supervise some 40 festivals, up from just seven last year.
      They include the Seoul International Fireworks Festival (Oct. 7) and Busan Fireworks Festival (Nov. 4), which are expected to draw more than a million spectators.
      A flower festival in Inje, Gangwon Province is crowded with visitors on Tuesday. /Yonhap
      The ministry will also dispatch personnel to manage traffic at Halloween festivals in Itaewon and other parts of Seoul on Oct. 31.
      There are no official organizers for these festivals, and local governments are not legally responsible for managing them. Some lawmakers want to revise the law to allow local authorities to manage safety at festivals without organizers, but the bill is idling in the National Assembly.
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