16 Dead, Many Injured in Accident at 4Minute Concert

Since the Sewol tragedy in April, accidents related to lax safety measures have been gaining more and more attention from the media. The recent accident in Pangyo is another example of what can happen when safety measures are not taken seriously. As the story continues to unfold, so far 16 victims have died, and 11 are in critical condition. The day after the accident, the event organizer from the Gyeonggi Institute of Science and Technology Promotion was found dead in Bundang. He had tweeted a suicide note minutes earlier.

Article from Yonhap News:

16 Dead and 10 in Critical Condition From Vent Collapse At Concert in Pangyo.

pangyo vent accident 1

26 fans at a girl-group concert suffer a 10-meter fall. Firefighters fear more deaths.

26 fans at an outdoor concert venue in Pangyo Techno Valley (Gyeonggi-do, Seongnam) fell 4 stories (about 10 meters) into a ventilation shaft when its metal grating collapsed.

Scene of the accident in Pangyo showing the vent grating completely caved in.

Scene of the accident in Pangyo showing the vent grating completely caved in.

At 5:53 p.m. on the 17th, fans at an outdoor concert venue, U-Space, in Pangyo Techno Valley (Bundang, Seongnam City) climbed atop ventilation shaft grating to get a better view of the girl group’s show. 26 fans then fell [into the shaft] when the grating collapsed.

As of 8 p.m. we understand that 16 have died and 10 are in critical condition. Their identities have not been revealed by the fire department.

The critically injured have been transported to four area hospitals and are receiving treatment. Due to the amount of severely injured patients, an increase in the number of deceased is expected.

Firefighters transporting a victim to an area hospital.

Firefighters transporting a victim to an area hospital.

According to a fire department representative, 12 died at the scene and 2 died in transit to the hospital. The others died while receiving treatment at the hospital.

The representative added that the number of dead is predicted to go up, as the number of seriously injured patients is so high.

At the time of the accident, approximately 700 people had gathered to watch a concert.

A diagram showing the ventilation shaft and its location at the concert venue.

A diagram showing the ventilation shaft and its location at the concert venue.

At the concert venue, a number of people, hoping to get a closer look at the girl group, climbed atop a vent. This action led to their deaths.

The event in Pangyo’s Techno Valley was to commemorate the First Pangyo Techno Valley Festival. The event was hosted by Gyeonggi-do and the Gyeonggi Institute of Science and Technology Promotion. E-Daily and E-Daily TV were covering the event featuring 4Minute and other singers, which would last from 5-8 p.m.

Comments from Naver:

Each person’s “safety ignorance” seems to be at risk.


I’m sick of saying that year 2014 is the worst year ever. What if something else happens? I’m nervous about the future. I hope this accident is the end of bad accidents.


I hate not only people taking advantage of the deceased for their own political purposes, but also others controlling the situation to attack others. May they rest in peace.


These days an accident can happen in the blink of an eye.


Don’t blame [the lack of] safety personnel. This accident was the making of each of them [the victims].


Why are they attributing this accident to the builders? ke, ke. It would be weird if a ventilation grate stood still under the weight of 25 people jumping on it. People are so good at blaming others after doing something they are not supposed to do.


Have you been to the Gangbyeon Expressway during Fireworks Festival? People ignore police who shut the road down for safety. If something would have happened, they’d had blamed the police for not doing their jobs. This is the character of a Korean. I am sorry for the deceased but to blame immature people rather than government is the right thing to do.


People who climbed on the ventilation shaft are the ones who made a mistake.. My goodness..


I can’t understand why people are blaming everyone else.


What’s so good about watching celebrities? Why did they climb on the ventilation grate? Oh my..

Article from Hankyoreh:

A mother desperately calls out for the daughter she raised alone. She went to see a concert near her work, and fell into disaster.

“Mom came to take care of you…” Hearing the sighs of family members and the mother as she cries out her daughters name, looking into the distance. Even after sitting quietly for awhile, the tears fall heavily, leaning on a wall to cry in sorrow. The mother looks through her glasses, crying without end, because her beloved only daughter passed away before her.

24-year old Ms. Kang, who worked at an English education company near the concert venue, became a victim of the accident after she went to see the concert after work. Kang’s workplace was just a street away from the concert venue. “My niece sent three pictures of the 4Minute concert to her boyfriend on Kakao Talk at 5:52. Her boyfriend responded, but seeing that she hadn’t read his message, he became worried and kept calling her over and over,” said Kang’s aunt. Kang’s coworker, Kim (27), also lost her life after going to see the concert together.

Hearing how her family talks about her makes it clear how loved Kang was. She made sure to get scholarships during her entire 4 years of university, and got a job right after graduation. Kang lived with her mother and grandmother, but when her grandmother passed away, Kang was always there to take care of her mother. Kang’s aunt tells how “when her mother seemed like she would get depressed, [Kang] would go home after work to make dinner and take her mother on walks. She often would upload those pictures on her Kakao Story.” She showed a picture of her smiling niece wearing her graduation cap, and began to choke up. Now we are so worried about her mother, left all alone. What should we do. What are we going to do?”

The following day, the bodies of the victims of the accident laid in coffins, but since the altars at Seongnam Central Hospital (Seongnam City, Gyeonggi-do) have not yet been prepared for services, the families gathered in rooms 202 and 203 instead. There seemed to be no other sound than that of the feet of mourners making their way to the funeral hall. The families lean on the wall for more than an hour, barely moving at all. From time to time, a hand raises to wipe away the tears.

As soon as it becomes day, friends and acquaintances file into to the funeral hall. The mourning family of 30-year-old Son was visited by 6 university friends. As soon as she saw them, Son’s mother covered her face with her hands and wept. “He just said he would go see a concert and come home. How could he go before his mother and father? My child, your friends are here.” As the mother’s cries become louder, the friends lower their heads. Son’s university friends said that, “[they] got a call from a professor about the accident. [They] knew that he was taking classes as a company near Pangyo.”

Most of the victims of this accident in Pangyo were in their 30’s or 40’s and worked in the area. Lee, the aunt of a victim named Jeong (39) said, “She was the only out of four who was unmarried, the youngest daughter. She took care of her parents so well, and did so many wonderful things. Just yesterday she called on her way to work, asking if she should send some red ginseng to her parents in Jeonju.”

Comments from Naver:


Stop blaming the pitiful deceased and express sincere condolences.


Oh my goodness… May the victims rest in peace.


It makes me so sad.


Now people won’t climb on something like a ventilation shaft. Rest in peace.


It is such a pity. May the dead rest in peace.


How come a family’s personal story got published? What’s the point of a girl who is smart and good to her parents? Every life is precious regardless who they are or what they do. I don’t like this article at all.


It is such a tragedy. I read that the planner of this event killed himself, but I think he shouldn’t be blamed. He has his parents, wife, and children too. Maybe he committed suicide under the pressure of journalists asking about his role in the accident. Of course I feel bad for the deceased but feel worse for him.


I’ve always been curious about news stories that talk about dead children who always got many scholarships or always got lots of awards. Does a journalist only choose emotional stories to be the news?


An article should provide facts, so why is this article so full of emotions?


Everyone has their own story and their own family. We should observe public etiquette to prevent this kind of accident. This is the way to keep you and others safe. Rest in peace.


I’m sorry for saying this but it is true that the accident resulted from the messed-up thinking of adults. Even kindergarten students know that they should not climb on where the accident happened because it is dangerous. Aren’t we creating this “safety ignorance” ourselves, and pushing the event planner to kill himself? If you want to think and act by yourself, aren’t you supposed to not blame the government for everything?


This kind of personal story can’t remove her guilt and put the responsibility onto others. This happened because of “safety ignorance” – not by children, but by adults.


I would understand if a bridge fell down when people were crossing it.


She was a good daughter but she didn’t have a good sense of public behavior.


I prefer not to read this kind of article. I understand their personal stories are pitiful, but is the media supposed to cover them? Korean media tends to be heavy on the good writing while neglecting its broadcasting duty. During the Sewol ferry accident, foreign media did its job well keeping an objective point of view. On the other hand, Korean media was trying to get any story from the bereaved families and survivors, which looked quite unsightly.


Though everybody has excuses, people should know that it’s a personal mistake, not a problem of how it was built.


This Pangyo accident proves what trash Koreans are. If you watched the news, some concerned people asked them to come down, saying it was dangerous to be up on a ventilation grate. But they were ignored and they stayed there to get a closer look at some celebrities.


I don’t want a journalist to write this kind of article. Is it supposed to appeal to peoples’ feelings? Instead, write an objective article please. Rest in peace.


The media has started to appeal to our feelings. Old people will cry and fall for it.


For me the project manager who killed himself is the most pitiful.

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