Police in South Korea Monday have arrested at least seven people
in connection with last week's fatal subway fire. Most of those
arrested work for the subway company.
The detained subway employees are suspected of negligence and
operating the trains in an unsafe manner. Police are investigating
why subway operators allowed a second train to enter the station
in Daegu after a fire began in the first train.
One of those arrested Monday is the driver of the second train.
A police spokesman says the driver did not evacuate passengers
from the train, but instead pulled the master key and shut the
door, which prevented anyone from escaping. Most of the dead
are thought to have been passengers on the second train.
Other subway employees are accused of responding too slowly
to the fire and of trying to cover up evidence of wrongdoing.
Authorities already have the man they believe started the fire
in custody facing homicide charges. The suspect, apparently
intent on committing suicide, entered one of the subway cars
last Tuesday morning and set alight a carton of flammable liquid.
The blaze quickly spread, killing at least 133 people, and injuring
more than 300 others.
The families of the victims continue to criticize the South
Korean government, saying it is taking too long to identify
the bodies and return remains. They accuse authorities of trying
to cover up the true death toll in what is being described as
South Korea's worst rail disaster. The government denies any
cover up and says that many of the bodies are so badly burned
that it could take months to identify them.
There are about 300 people still listed as missing from the
fire. Police say many of the names have accidentally been listed
twice and the final number of those lost will be much smaller.
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