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Prosecutors indict head of hotel adjoining site of Itaewon crowd crush

Jan. 28, 2023 - 10:37 By Yonhap
The alley where more than 150 people lost their lives in the deadly crowd crush in Itaewon. The Hamilton Hotel is located on the right side. (Yonhap)

Prosecutors indicted the head of a hotel adjoining the site of the deadly Itaewon crowd crush without physical detention Friday, amid allegations the hotel's illegally extended structures made the cramped area even narrower.

The 76-year-old head of Hamilton Hotel, surnamed Lee, was accused of illegally building structures near the main building of the hotel and occupying an adjacent road without permission, in violation of the building and road acts.

More than 150 people, mostly in their 20s, were killed in the Oct. 29 crowd crush on a downhill alley that runs along the side of the outer wall of the hotel.

Critics have said that the hotel's extended structures may have made the alley narrower.

So far, 17 officials or entities have been indicted in connection to the deadly accident, including former Yongsan Police Station chief Lee Im-jae and Yongsan Ward office chief Park Hee-young.