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  1. #1
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default S. Korea Subway Arson Kills at Least 120

    *Sher takes over the role of NJ for the day* Where the heck does he post these though? Well we'll try this forum .....

    S. Korea Subway Arson Kills at Least 120

    By SOO-JEONG LEE
    .c The Associated Press

    DAEGU, South Korea (AP) - The total death toll in an arson attack Tuesday on a South Korea subway train will be about 120 people, firefighting and rescue officials said. The estimate came after fire raced through two packed subway trains; authorities said a a man lit a carton filled with an unidentified material that burst into flames.

    A suspect was under interrogation in Daegu, South Korea's third-largest city, but police still did not know what motivated the attack. Rescue workers had given up the search for survivors by the afternoon, and many of the more than 135 injured were seriously hurt.

    Authorities reported removing 70 bodies from one of the two trains destroyed in the attack. Combined with the more than 50 already confirmed dead, the final toll will be about 120, said Lim Dae-yoon, the chief of Daegu city's east district municipal government.

    ``The total death toll is expected to rise to about 120. We believe the death toll will not rise drastically from that,'' Lim said.

    Many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition, and officials said they would have to wait for DNA tests that could take weeks to determine an exact number.

    The fire started in one six-car train at a station, igniting seats and spreading to another train also stopped at the station, officials said. The fire killed people by the dozens, burning its victims or asphyxiating them with deadly fumes.

    Many more charred bodies were still uncounted in the incinerated remains of the trains, a fire department official said, indicating the number of dead could rise substantially. Officials refused to speculate at a final tally.

    ``We are receiving reports from firefighters at the scene that there are about 100 bodies inside the train cars,'' said Chung Myong-sook, an official with the fire department in Daegu.

    Firefighters gave horrifying accounts of the scene underground. Many bodies were found on the subway stairs, where people apparently choked as they tried to escape. On the platform and in the train were the ashen bones of those trapped in the flames.

    Chung Sook-jae, 54, rushed to the scene after her daughter, 26-year-old Min Shim-eun, telephoned her husband to say she was suffocating. Then the line went dead.

    ``She never caused any problems. She was a good kid. Why does this have to happen her?'' Chung cried. ``If she's not out by now, she's probably dead. What am I going to do if her body is all burned out of recognition?''

    Police were interrogating Kim Dae-han, 56, who witnesses said carried the carton into the subway car, said Daegu police lieutenant Kim Byong-hak.

    ``When the man tried to use a cigarette lighter to light the box, some passengers tied to stop him. Apparently a scuffle erupted and the box exploded into flames,'' the officer said.

    Authorities said that the fire was put out by 1 p.m., about three hours after it started, but toxic gas in the tunnel delayed rescue efforts, the Yonhap news agency said. The acrid odor of burned plastic still wafted over the fire scene hours after the flames had been put out.

    The television station YTN aired footage of the frantic scene inside a nearby hospital, showing nurses attending to a man who was reportedly the suspect. The man sat frowning on a bed wearing a hospital smock, his face and hands smudged with soot.

    Yu Heung-soo, a police sergeant in Daegu, said Kim had been burned on both legs and the right wrist. But a doctor told YTN that the man's only injury was toxic gas inhalation.

    YTN also reported that the suspect worked as truck driver and had once threatened to burn down the hospital where he had received unsatisfactory treatment. The station did not cite sources.

    In the minutes after the fire began, thick black smoke billowed out of the subway's ventilator shafts. Downtown traffic came to a standstill as ambulances rushed to the scene. Firefighters wearing orange suits and oxygen tanks rushed into the subway.

    Kim Bok-sun, 45, said her missing daughter, 21-year-old Kang Yeon-ju, was on the burning train and called in panic.

    ``She only said that there was a fire and the train door wasn't opening, so I told her to just break open a window and get out,'' she said, her voice trembling with emotion. Kim called her daughter back a few minutes later, ``but she never answered the phone.

    Rescuers brought victims, their faces and clothes black with soot, up to the street in stretchers and slid them into ambulances. One witness recounted the terrifying scene inside the subway as the fire ignited.

    ``The man kept flickering a lighter and an old man told him to stop. The man dropped the lighter and the train caught fire,'' an unidentified male survivor told YTN. ``Several young men seized him, but the fire spread and black smoke rose. Then everyone rushed out.''

    One man told YTN that his friend called on his cell phone and said he was trapped inside one of the cars. The unidentified man told YTN that he had called subway officials and they were unaware of the fire at the time.

    President Kim Dae-jung ordered the government to consider designating the accident site as a special disaster zone, which would give it priority in receiving government aid and other assistance.

    Daegu, one of the 10 World Cup soccer venues last year, has a population of 2.5 million.



    02/18/03 08:39 EST
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Angry BIN LADEN "WANNABEE" OR SOME LOCAL WITH A LOOSE NUT?

    I read this twice and listened to the radio news on what happened. Part of me is wondering if this is one of bin Laden's li'l buddies doing his job, or is just some disgruntled Postal Worker or Street Sweeper with a private agenda.

    In any case, he could not have picked a better place: limited access in and out, confined space, toxic secondary fuels, high people traffic area... the list is long.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

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    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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  3. #3
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    From what I've read so far this morning, the culprit's a guy with a history of mental problems.

    Works better than what I heard this morning - they were saying that the guy was depressed over a diagnosis of paralysis that morning, and decided to take it out on the train.

    Maybe the real answer's somewhere between the two?

    -pb

  4. #4
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    Default

    This is a stark reminder that we can prepare for all this NBC stuff, and we should. But the most destructive "weapons of mass destruction" are still incendiary and explosive devices.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber ff7134's Avatar
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    Default Korea

    Well it shows if yuo don't have access to the advanced WMD's
    go to the century old stand by...Fire. Well at least tey caught him. i feel sorry for him, he's going to be toast after they get done with him.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default UPDATE

    Death toll in South Korea subway fire could top 500
    Last Updated Thu, 20 Feb 2003 10:33:33
    DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA - South Korean president-elect Roh Moo-hyun is promising a thorough investigation into the subway fire in which more than 120 people died.

    Police say the man accused of starting the fire in a South Korean subway wanted to commit suicide. They say the man told them he wanted to die with people around him, rather than alone.


    Burned-out subway trains in Daegu, South Korea (AP PHOTO)

    Witnesses say the fire began when the man lit a container of flammable liquid, then threw it, setting fire to the subway train.

    The suspect is in hospital with light burns.

    Although authorities say the death toll now stands at 125, it may leap beyond 500 in the days to come.

    Officials say 387 people are still listed as missing. There are fears the missing may have been incinerated in the disaster.

    The incident has raised serious questions about safety standards of the South Korean subway system, as well as about the ferocity of the fire.

    Roh promised relatives of the victims on Thursday that a thorough investigation will be conducted to find those answers. Roh, who takes office next Tuesday, also promised the establishment of a disaster control body.



    Written by CBC News Online staff
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Default

    So what we have here is another case of "it would never happen to us here" Syndrome.

    I wonder how many more incidents like this throughout the world will have to happen before we all have a dedicated USAR unit in each city, strictly for dealing with this sort of problem. I see a funding and a manpower problem in the "future".

    It is understood that there will be times when prevention will be set up after the "horse is gone" (locking barn door when....) But somewhere its going to become too much, or it will go the other way and be too little too late?

    Education and participation are the two greatest ingredients of Prevention. It would be great to have all these organizations in place to deal with the "emergency" when it happens, but participation from the Masses is by far the better way to prevention. There are more Joe Somebody's on the street than there could ever be John Firefighter or Joan Policewoman. This is starting to sound a bit McCarthian with his Communist witch hunts, but without going as hard at it as he did, that is what I am driving towards here.

    Getting the People to participate in homeland security, reporting strange behaviours, events and the like will go a long way to assisting in preventing events such as the Korea subway disaster, the destruction of the WTC and others.

    Once again, in for a penny in for a pound.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  8. #8
    Forum Member DualReverse's Avatar
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    Default

    Wonderful point, Malahat...

    Prevention education, even the smallest amount, can prove hude dividens in the long run...But the best point I think you made was the 'it cant happen here' syndrome...It's becoming clear that, despite probability studies, anything can happen anywhere...I don't think our colleagues in West Warwick would've ever guessed what might happen in their area...

    Local officials need to push harder for better funding and training to more adequately prepare for what could happen...Else, we're all at terrible risk...

    Great post...

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