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South Koreans rally, marking 100 days since crowd crush tragedy, families seek justice

Frank Smith,
Press TV, Seoul 

South Korean families of the victims of the crowd crush that killed 159, mostly young people, during last Halloween gathered at the memorial in Itaewon on Saturday to mark 100 days since the tragedy. They demanded a thorough independent probe, and accountability.

Demonstrators marched from the memorial past the presidential office. Eleven emergency calls were made in the hours before the disaster. Local officials knew tens of thousands would gather in Itaewon, but crowd control was not implemented. Still, the safety minister said the deaths could not have been prevented, angering family members. One investigation has led to a handful of indictments of police on duty and low-level officials, but top officials have been spared.

City Hall denied the marchers access to the nearby plaza for their demonstration as the fallout from the tragedy turns ever more political.

Twenty-six foreigners died in the crowd crush last Halloween. Five of those were young Iranian exchange students.

As the families and their supporters seek justice, they face harassment and indignation from officials.

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