More Than 200 Injured in Seoul Subway Crash

Photo courtesy of Segye Ilbo

About two weeks after the tragic sinking of a ferry that left hundreds dead or still missing, South Korea suffered another serious transport accident Friday when a subway train in Seoul crashed and injured 240.

There were no immediate deaths, but one person is reportedly being treated for a brain hemorrhage. Most of the injured passengers in the accident, which occurred at about 3:30 p.m. local time at the Sangwangsimni station in the eastern part of Seoul, sustained minor abrasions, according to emergency officials.


The accident was caused by a signal failure that led to an incoming train crashing into another train that was stopped at the station, said fire department official Kim Kyung-su and Seoul Metro official Chung Soo-young at a news conference. About 1,000 passengers were reportedly evacuated from the trains.


“I fell forwards maybe two or three meters,” Lee Dong-hyeon, a 26-year-old office worker, told Reuters. “It was like tipping over when running really fast.”

The metro system in the city is a prevalent form of transportation in the everyday lives of Seoulies, as the South Korean capital ranks the highest in population density among cities of developed countries. About 4.5 million passengers reportedly use the metro system operated by the city of Seoul.

South Korea is still mourning the country’s worst maritime disaster from April 16, when more than 300 people died or went missing after a ferry capsized. Most of the passengers on board were high school students en route to Jeju island for a school-organized trip.

The ferry disaster prompted the South Korean prime minister to resign and President Park Geun-hye to offer a formal apology for failing to provide adequate rescue operations.

A Gallup Korea poll conducted before the train accident on Friday revealed that President Park’s rating dropped since the sinking of the ferry by 11 percent to 48 percent.