Safety official for K-pop concert found dead after tragedy kills 16 fans

This article is more than 12 months old

​A South Korean official handling safety measures at the concert where 16 people died apparently committed suicide hours after the tragedy.

The accident occurred when a ventilation grate collapsed at the concert of a popular K-pop girl group, 4Minute.

The death of the 37-year-old local government official, surnamed Oh, was announced as South Korean police launched an investigation into Friday's incident which took place in the city of Seongnam.

The victims were standing on a ventilation grating to get a better view when the structure collapsed under their weight, sending them plunging 18.7 metres down into an underground parking area.

Oh had allegedly jumped off a building near where the tragedy took place, according to Disaster relief spokesman Kim Nam-Jun. 

Officials said that he wrote a short message to his wife: "I am sorry for the dead victims... Please take good care of my children."

Spectators did not listen to host who warned them to come off the grate

Witnesses told media there were no security guards or safety fences to prevent overflowing spectators climbing onto the grate after some 400 prepared chairs were fully occupied well before the concert kicked off.

More than 700 people were believed to be attending the outdoor concert.

“Many people on the vent gratings were chanting and dancing to the music. I was worried about their safety but there were no security guards around,” a 45-year-old man, who runs a restaurant near the site was quoted as saying by Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

“The show host repeatedly told the spectators to come off the grate but no one paid heed to the warning,” another witness told the paper.

“(Immediately after the accident), screams for help were all drowned out by the din from the concert", Lee Sang-Hoon, a witness, told Dong-A Ilbo daily.- Reuters.

Related report: 16 dead, 9 injured at outdoor pop concert in South Korea

4minuteSouth KoreaUncategorisedACCIDENTS FIRE FLOOD