Police Arrest S. Korean Train Driver in Connection with Subway Fire

Police arrested a train driver on negligent manslaughter charges Tuesday in connection with the subway fire in Daegu that killed 198 people.


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Police arrested a train driver on negligent manslaughter charges Tuesday in connection with the subway fire in Daegu that killed 198 people.

Choi Jung-hwan, 34, is accused of failing to report the fire to the control center and neglecting his duty to evacuate passengers, police said.

The Feb. 18 subway blaze in Daegu, South Korea's third-largest city, gutted Choi's train and another train that arrived at the station a few minutes later.

Several other subway officials have been arrested on similar charges. Negligent manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Police have also arrested a mentally disturbed man who allegedly started the fire.

The death toll from the fire rose to 198 Monday after a 63-year-old woman died in a hospital. Some 100 people injured in the incident are still hospitalized.