In the Aftermath of the Itaewon Tragedy

These are links to news and op-ed pieces about the tragedy in Itaewon. These are by no means the only news and op-ed pieces out there, but just the ones that popped up on my radar, as an English-speaking expat living in the greater Seoul region. I have no ties to Itaewon, beyond the one time I found myself there and thought to take a picture next to the subway sign to prove I’ve gone to Itaewon, so I can’t imagine how others, who viewed Itaewon as a home-away-from-home and have many happy memories there, are coping after this tragedy.

Watch: Being a Foreigner in Itaewon, Korea [Crowd Crush Aftermath] Street Interview

Watch: Why the Seoul crowd crush was not a stampede

translated 119 calls about the atmosphere in Itaewon (trigger warning)

Pinning all blame on police for Itaewon tragedy won’t help

Police squad first arrives at Itaewon crowd scene about 85 minutes later

Hotel next to alley of Halloween crush illegally extended terrace

Amid tragedy, heroic, heart-warming stories shared online

Watch: 1.5 tons of lost items left behind at the scene of Itaewon crush

Grieving nation cancels cultural events, but some artists say music can be way to mourn

Pressure weighs on Yoon over accountability in Itaewon tragedy

Two officials dead in apparent suicides as Itaewon investigation continues

Itaewon tragedy sparks debates on digital ethics

On the Monday after the tragedy, we were all a little worried that our students, who are aged 5 to 14, would bring up the Itaewon tragedy. In other schools, Monday Halloween parties were cancelled, but our school had celebrated on Friday, so we had the benefit of it being a normal school day.

I had two boys in one class bring up Itaewon, and they were talking about the tragedy as if it were a scene in one of their video games; laughing about it, not fully understanding that they were talking about real people who died. I swiftly shut the discussion down and they spoke no more of it, thankfully.

I think we will have more discussion of “digital ethics” in the future. I’m not sure if my two students saw videos from the tragedy, or were merely mock-playing what they heard had happened, but I’ve seen videos from the tragedy and would not want any of my students to ever see something like that. It will continue to haunt me. What happened wasn’t anyone’s fault, but it’s seeming more and more like the police/government agencies dropped the ball numerous times throughout that night, from not initially investigating the crowds that were getting dangerous to failing to implement crowd control measures.

May all those who were affected by this terrible tragedy find peace. Om mani padme hum.

With flowers and food, citizens share warmth while mourning

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