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复盘梨泰院踩踏案:警方曾预判拥挤人流,为何惨剧仍发生

Police Expected the Halloween Crowd. Why Couldn’t They Stop the Disaster?
复盘梨泰院踩踏案:警方曾预判拥挤人流,为何惨剧仍发生

For years, officials had known that Halloween weekends in Itaewon, a popular nightlife district in Seoul, attracted large crowds, warning internally that people could be “crushed to death.”

多年来,官员们一直知道首尔著名夜生活区梨泰院的万圣节周末会吸引大量人群,并在内部警告说,人们可能会“被挤死”。

For days, they had held meetings and filed reports about their expectations for “disorderly” throngs, with one local police chief asking higher-ups to deploy crowd control officers.

多日来,他们一直召开会议,提交报告,阐述他们对“无序”人群的预期,一名当地警察局长要求上级部署警员控制人群。
 

梨泰院事故发生几天后,一群人聚集在首尔市政厅附近,悼念遇难者,抗议官方失职导致这一致命事件发生。

For hours, they had received desperate calls about partygoers trapped in a narrow alleyway, pleas for the authorities to intervene as people were “falling and hurt” in a “bottleneck.”

在几个小时里,他们一直接到绝望的电话,说参加派对的人被困在狭窄的巷子里,请求当局干预,因为人们挤在一个“瓶颈”里“摔倒受伤”。

Each time, the authorities ignored or missed the warnings, crucial chances to prevent a crowd crush in Itaewon on Oct. 29 that would kill 158 people and leave 196 injured. A New York Times analysis, based on witness accounts, investigators’ findings, parliamentary testimony and official documents released to lawmakers, provides troubling new details of the government’s lax approach to safety and the failures in its emergency response.

每一次,当局都忽视或错过了这些警告,它们原本是防止10月29日梨泰院发生人群拥挤的关键机会,该事件导致158人死亡,196人受伤。《纽约时报》根据目击者的叙述、调查员的发现、议会的证词和向立法者发布的官方文件进行了分析,提供了令人不安的新细节,说明政府在安全方面的松懈和应急反应方面的失败。

Less than a dozen police officers were in the area until 8 p.m., almost an hour and a half after the first call for help. Emergency dispatchers directed officers to street fights and other lesser incidents, while officials monitoring surveillance cameras didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Rescue and crisis management efforts were delayed by a lack of coordination and poor coordination, with many supervisors and top officials unaware of the crisis until 11 p.m. or later.

直到晚8点,该地区仍然只有不到12名警察,此时距离第一个呼救电话已经过去了近一个半小时。紧急调度员将警察引向街头斗殴和其他旁枝末节的事件,而负责监测监控摄像头的官员没有注意到任何异常情况。救援和危机管理工作因缺乏协调和协调不力而延误,许多主管和高级官员直到晚上11点或更晚才意识到危机。

South Korean authorities and lawmakers are now investigating what went wrong, especially how officials missed early signs of trouble and why it took so long to send help.

韩国当局和议会议员目前正在调查出了什么问题,特别是官员们如何忽视了初期的迹象,以及为什么花了这么长时间才派出援助。

“It’s a disaster created by administrative incompetence,” said Min Hyungbae, an independent lawmaker who visited the Itaewon alleyways alone on a recent night. “It’s as if our country is going backward.”

“这是行政无能造成的灾难,”无党派议员闵亨培(音)说,他最近的一个晚上独自参观了梨泰院的小巷。“好像我们的国家在倒退。”

The police and fire departments, as well as various agencies involved in the emergency response, including the local ward office, declined to comment beyond previous public statements. The president’s office said it has ordered a thorough investigation and will take further actions based on its results.

警方、消防部门,以及包括当地区政府在内的多个参与应急响应的机构拒绝在此前的公开声明之外置评。总统办公室表示,已下令进行彻底调查,并将根据调查结果采取进一步行动。

Despite its technological, economic and cultural achievements, the country has been plagued by a series of human-caused disasters, including a department store collapse, a ferry sinking and catastrophic fires.

尽管在技术、经济和文化方面取得了成就,但韩国一直受到一系列人为灾难的困扰,包括百货商店倒塌、渡轮沉没和灾难性火灾。

Until moving into a new official residence, President Yoon Suk Yeol had lived in an apartment tower built on the site of the department store collapse. On the eighth anniversary of the ferry disaster in April, he said “the sincerest way of commemorating the victims was to make South Korea safe.”

在搬进新的官邸之前,尹锡悦总统一直住在一座位于百货商店倒塌事件原址的公寓大楼里。今年4月,在“世越号”惨案发生八周年之际,他表示,“纪念遇难者,最真诚的的方式是让韩国变得安全。”

When thousands rallied this month to mourn the Itaewon​ tragedy, they denounced him for failing to fulfill his promise.

本月,当数以千计的人集会悼念梨泰院惨案时,他们谴责他未能兑现自己的承诺。

“The way to commemorate the victims is for you to resign!” they chanted.

“纪念遇难者的方式就是让你辞职!”他们高呼。

Ignoring Early Signs

被忽视的早期迹象


This year’s Halloween gathering, the first since pandemic-related restrictions ended, promised to be big.

今年的万圣节集会是疫情限制措施结束以来的第一次,预计规模会很大。

Days before, officials discussed ways to make the night safe and manage disorderly crowds, largely sharing concerns of people spilling into car lanes and men wielding “fake weapons” and “bikini girls” who might expose “too much,” according to official documents from the police, the fire department and the Yongsan ward office, which oversees Itaewon. The police, in a news release, reported a spike in the number of people searching “Halloween” and “Itaewon” on the internet.

警察厅、消防厅和负责梨泰院的龙山区办公室的官方文件显示,几天前,官员们讨论了如何保证夜间安全,并管理混乱人群,主要是担忧涌入车道的人群、手持“假武器”的男子和可能暴露“太多”的“比基尼女孩”。警方在一份新闻稿中称,在互联网上搜索“万圣节”和“梨泰院”的人数激增。

The growing popularity of the holiday and the potential for “safety accidents” had long worried the authorities. In 2020, when the Halloween crowd was smaller, the police warned in an internal document, obtained by opposition lawmakers, of possible “crush deaths.”

这个节日越来越受欢迎,以及可能发生的“安全事故”一直令有关部门担忧。2020年,当万圣节人群还没那么多时,警方就在反对派议员获得的一份内部文件中警告说,可能会发生“挤压致死”。

The warrens of bars and restaurants were also made more cramped by unpermitted construction at the Hamilton Hotel like a metal wall, further restricting the lanes around it including the alleyway, where the fatal crowd crush would occur, according to police and Seoul government officials. The local Yongsan authorities imposed fines but did nothing to remove the illegal structures.

据警方和首尔政府官员说,汉密尔顿酒店的金属墙等违章建筑也使酒吧和餐厅附近变得更加拥挤,它们进一步限制了酒店周围的车道,包括发生致命踩踏事件的小巷。龙山地方当局虽然做了罚款处理,但没有采取任何措施拆除非法建筑。

The hotel did not comment, citing the pending investigations.

该酒店以调查正在进行为由未予置评。

South Korea runs battalions of police officers with specialized training in crowd control. On the day of the tragedy, 4,700 were deployed along the road from downtown Seoul to the president’s office, less than a mile from Itaewon, to monitor tens of thousands of protesters​ frustrated with his leadership. None were assigned to Itaewon, where an estimated 130,000 people were in attendance that night.

韩国有大批接受过人群控制专业训练的警察。悲剧发生当天,从首尔市中心到总统办公室(距离梨泰院不到1.6公里)的道路上部署了4700名警察,以监视数万名对总统的领导感到不满的抗议者。当天晚上,梨泰院约有13万人参加活动。

Days before the disaster, the Yongsan police station repeatedly asked the Seoul Metropolitan Police for such officers to be on site for Halloween, the Yongsan police chief, Lee Im-jae, told Parliament.

龙山警察局局长李仁宰(音)对议会说,在灾难发生的几天前,龙山警察局多次要求首尔警察厅在万圣节期间派遣这类警员到场。

Mr. Lee said he was told they could not be diverted from the political rallies.

李仁宰说,他被告知,这些人员不能从政治集会上调离。

On Oct. 25, the chief of the Itaewon police station, which is smaller and supervised by the Yongsan one, told higher-ups that he “desperately” needed more officers to control Halloween traffic, according to parliamentary testimony by the Seoul police chief and opposition lawmakers.

首尔警察厅长和反对派议员在议会作证时表示,10月25日,梨泰院警察局的负责人告诉上级,他“迫切”需要更多警力来控制万圣节的交通。梨泰院警察局规模较小,受龙山警察局管辖。

But when police and city officials met with Itaewon business owners the next day to discuss Halloween, they did not make plans for crowd control, Woo Jong-Soo, chief superintendent general of the National Police Agency, said this month.

但韩国警察厅总警司禹钟洙(音)本月表示,翌日,当警方和市政官员与梨泰院的业主会面讨论万圣节时,他们并没有制定控制人群的计划。

On Oct. 29, 137 officers were assigned to Itaewon, and at least 52 were detectives specializing in drug crimes. The police invited journalists to cover their busts, according to South Korean media and the reporters themselves.

10月29日,梨泰院有137名警察,其中至少有52名是专门负责毒品犯罪的警探。据韩国媒体和记者说,警方邀请了记者报道他们的破案成果。

When asked whether the government’s war on drugs distracted officials from ensuring crowd safety, the Seoul metropolitan police chief, Kim Kwang-ho, told Parliament last week that “we were significantly focused on drugs.” But the president’s office said the disaster was unrelated to his new antidrug campaign in recent weeks, instead blaming the police and other agencies for failing to anticipate crowd accidents.

当被问及政府的禁毒斗争是否令官员们无法兼顾确保人群安全时,首尔市警察厅厅长金光浩(音)上周对议会说,“我们非常关注毒品。”但总统办公室表示,这场灾难与他最近几周的新禁毒运动无关,并指责警方和其他机构未能预测到人群事故。

Dismissing Desperate Pleas

驳回绝望的请求


The police planned to deploy most of the 137 officers after 8 p.m., based on Halloween traffic from previous years. Before 8 p.m., only 11 officers from the Itaewon police station were on duty, according to Lee Hyungseok, an opposition lawmaker who reviewed police records.

根据往年万圣节的交通情况,警方计划在晚上8点之后部署137名警察中的大部分。查看过警方记录的反对派议员李亨锡(音)说,晚上8点之前,梨泰院警察局只有11名警察在执勤。

The city’s new digital map was in operation to track real-time densities if officials had wanted to monitor the crowds. Separately, the Yongsan ward office, which runs surveillance cameras throughout Itaewon, failed to report anything unusual, Kim Sung-ho, a senior home ministry official, said during a briefing.

如果官员们想要监控人群,该市新的数字地图可以实时追踪人口密度。另外,内务部高级官员金成浩(音)在一次通报会上表示,负责管理梨泰院监控摄像头的龙山区办事处没有报告任何异常情况。

Desperate calls from Itaewon started coming into the 112 emergency hotline at 6:34 p.m. People reported “utter chaos” and a crowd “out of control,” according to call logs released to lawmakers.

从下午6时34分开始,梨泰院112急救热线接到了绝望的电话。根据向议员们公布的通话记录,人们报告场面“完全混乱”,人群“失控”。

“It looks like people are going to be squashed to death,” said the first caller, describing masses of people pressing from both ends of the alleyway.

“看上去有人要被活活挤死了,”第一个来电者描述了从巷子两端涌入的人群。

Between then and 10:11 p.m., more than 10 calls came in pointing to a crowd surge.

从那时起,一直到晚上10:11,有超过10通电话表示有人群拥挤。

The first call was dismissed as nothing serious, Hwang Chang-son, a senior official from the National Police Agency, told reporters. The dispatchers did not follow up closely on subsequent calls, either.

韩国警察厅高级官员黄昌善(音)告诉记者,第一通电话被判断为大惊小怪。接线员对此后的来电也没有予以密切跟进。

Higher-ups also failed to detect a crisis developing, including their supervisor, Senior Superintendent Ryu Mi-jin, who was in her own office upstairs.

部门高层也没有意识到一场危机正在形成,这包括了他们的上级、高级警司柳美珍(音),她当时在楼上的办公室里。

“All I can say is that I am sorry,” Ms. Ryu said during a parliamentary hearing, adding that it was customary for the supervisor to be separate. She said she was not informed of the crisis until 11:39 p.m., nearly an hour after rescuers were already on the scene.

“我唯一能说的是,我很抱歉,”柳美珍在议会听证会上说,她还说长官在别处办公是符合惯例的。她说她直到晚上11:39才得知危机的发生,也就是救援人员抵达现场近一小时后。

Dispatchers at the hotline passed the details on two calls — at 8:37 p.m. and again at 9:01 p.m. — to their counterparts at a separate 119 disaster-response center, asking them to look into reports of a possible crowd crush. But the cases were closed after those dispatchers spoke to the callers, according to the fire department’s answers to lawmakers.

报警热线接线员将其中两通来电——分别是晚上8:37和9:01——的详情转给了另一个119灾难处置中心,要求对方就可能存在人群踩踏的报告进行核查。但是消防厅在接受议员质询时表示,接手的接线员在和来电者通话后做了结案。

“We regret that those on duty did not pay enough attention,” Nam Hwa-young, acting chief of the National Fire Agency, which manages the 119 hotline, told Parliament.

“我们对当值人员没能给予足够的关注感到遗憾,”负责管理119热线的消防厅代厅长南和荣(音)对议会说。

Throughout the evening, Kim Baek-gyeom, a sergeant in the Itaewon police station, said he and his colleagues were busy with routine assignments. Around 10 p.m., he said he and two colleagues were sent to check on a possible street fight near the alleyway. When they got there, they saw the crowd crush.

梨泰院警察局警长金百谦(音)说,他和同事整晚都忙于例行事务。晚上10点左右,他说他和两个同事去巷子附近核查一桩可能是街头殴斗的事件。到达那里后,他们看到了拥挤的人群。

“We heard screams and commotion, and when we pushed our way through, we saw people crushed under a wave of human bodies and holding out their hands asking for help,” Mr. Kim said in a radio interview. “Until then, we had no idea what was happening.”

“我们听到尖叫和呼喊,我们在人群里往前挤,看到有人被压在一大堆人身下,伸出手来求救,”金百谦在一次电台采访中说。“那时候我们还根本不知道发生了什么。”

Triggering Alarms Too Late

警报迟迟未能触发


A call to the 119 hotline at 10:15 p.m. finally got the authorities’ attention.

晚上10:15的一通119电话终于引起当局的重视。

“You have to send police, fire engines, whatever you got — people are being squeezed to death,” the caller said, according to the logs. “I see injured people sprawled ​on the street.”

“你们得派警察和消防车来,有多少来多少——这里有人被活活挤死,”通话记录显示来电者说。“我看到街上到处是受伤的人。”

​Eighty-six more calls came into the hotline over the next several hours. Dispatchers could hear screaming, crying, moaning and shouts of “Please help!” and “Don’t push! Don’t push!”

接下来几个小时里,又打进来86通电话。接线员可以听到尖叫、哭喊、呻吟,有人在喊“救命!”和“别挤!别挤!”

At 10:42 p.m., more than four hours after the initial report about the crowd surge, firefighters reported their first official contact with victims, urgently asking for help. “We are performing CPR on 15 people but we don’t have enough hands,” a firefighter said, according to transcripts of the firefighters’ communications.

晚上10:42,有关人群拥挤的第一宗报告过去超过四个小时后,消防员发出了第一宗接触到受害者的正式报告,并急切地请求支援。“我们在给15个人做CPR,我们人手不够,”消防员通讯记录显示一名消防员当时这样说。

Choi Seong-beom, head of the Yongsan fire station, repeatedly asked for more rescuers, according to the transcripts. He also pleaded for more police officers to help clear the streets of crowds and cars blocking ambulances and emergency responders. ​

记录显示龙山区消防署负责人崔成范(音)屡次请求增援。他还要求派来更多警力疏散街上的人群和车辆,让救护车和急救人员得以通过。

“There are so many patients who need CPR we can’t count them,” ​Mr. Choi said.

“太多病人需要CPR,我们数都数不过来,”崔成范说。

It was not until 10:48 p.m. that the narcotics detectives — who did not catch a single drug user that night — were redirected to rescue efforts, according to the police. Crowd control officers were assigned to Itaewon only at 11:40 p.m., three hours after the political rallies ended.

警方称,直到晚上10:48,缉毒警探——当晚一个吸毒者也没抓到——才被重新安排参与救援工作。在政治集会结束三小时后的晚上11:40,人群管控警员才被派往梨泰院。

A lack of coordination complicated efforts. A dispatcher from the National Emergency Medical Center complained to counterparts in the fire department and Seoul city that the police were blocking some rescuers from the scene. At one point, the dispatcher threatened to “stop sending our teams out,” according to an exchange between the agencies obtained by another lawmaker.

协调不力让救援变得更加复杂。韩国急救医疗中心的一名调度员向消防部门和首尔市政相关部门投诉称,警方阻碍一些救援人员进入现场。另一名议员得到了各部门间的沟通记录显示,该名调度员一度威胁称要“停止派出我们的人”。

“Stop transporting the dead now,” the dispatcher told 119 counterparts. “We first have to move the 40 people who are still alive, including those in critical condition.”

“现在就停止运送死者,”这名调度员告诉119的同行。“我们必须先转移还活着的40人,包括那些情况危急的。”

The government initially said that there was a limit to what it could do to control spontaneous crowds of partygoers. Prime Minister Han Duck-soo cited a lack of “laws” and “systems.” “My office has done all it could,” Park Hee-young, chief of the Yongsan office, said on Oct. 31.

政府起初表示控制玩乐者自发聚集的能力有限。国务总理韩惪洙指出,这是因为“法律”和“制度”的缺失。“我已经尽力了,”龙山区区长朴熙英在10月31日表示。

As public outrage mounted, the government’s tone shifted. “How can you say we could not deal with it because of a lack of system?” the president said last week.

随着公众愤怒情绪高涨,政府的态度有所转变。“怎么能说我们是因为制度缺失处理不了呢?”总统上周表示。

But President Yoon blamed officers in the field. “The 137 officers should have been able to handle it,” he said. “Why did they just look and do nothing for four hours? They were there.”

但尹锡悦总统怪罪在现场的警员。“137名警员应该足以解决问题,”他说。“为什么他们四个小时里都在袖手旁观?他们就在现场。”

A number of mid-ranking police and fire officials have been suspended from their jobs or are under investigation for possible criminal negligence. A police officer under investigation died by suicide last week.

警察和消防部门多名中层官员或被停职,或因涉嫌过失犯罪遭到调查。上周,一名正在接受调查的警官自杀身亡。

Finding Fault at the Top

问责高层


South Koreans have expressed gratitude to rescuers. They flooded the website of ​the Yongsan fire station with thank-you notes and sent fried chicken​ and tangerines to the Itaewon police station.

韩国民众对救援人员表示了感谢。龙山消防局网站上全是他们发来的感谢信,他们还向梨泰院警署送去了炸鸡和橘子。

Increasingly, they have directed their anger at senior leaders​. At a government mourning site near City Hall, a woman who said she lost her son destroyed ​a ​condolence wreath from Mr. Yoon. ​A​ citizen hung a 46-foot-long banner, demanding the “embarrassing” ​president resign.

他们越来越多地将愤怒指向高层领导人。在市政厅附近的一个政府悼念处,一名自称失去了儿子的妇女砸毁了尹锡悦送的花圈。一名市民挂起约15米长的横幅,要求这位“丢人”的总统辞职。

The absence of senior leaders can prove problematic in the country’s hierarchical bureaucracy. “South Korean public servants rarely act unless their bosses tell them what to do,” said Yoon Yong-Kyun, a professor of public safety at Semyung University.

高层领导人的不作为可能会让韩国等级森严的官僚体制出现问题。“除非得到上级命令,否则韩国公务人员是很少拿出行动的,”世明大学公共安全学教授尹永均(音)表示。

The president learned about the disaster at 11:01 p.m., and his home minister, who was in charge of all police and firefighters, at 11:20 p.m. It was nearly midnight when Seoul issued mobile phone alerts asking citizens to avoid Itaewon.

总统在晚上11:01得知了这场灾难,他手下负责指挥所有警察和消防员的内政部长在晚上11:20才得知消息。到首尔市推送手机警报请市民远离梨泰院时,已接近午夜。

Mr. Kim, the Seoul police chief, did not learn of what happened until Mr. Lee, the Yongsan police chief, called him at 11:36 p.m.

直到晚上11:36龙山区警察局长李仁宰来电告知,首尔警察厅厅长金光浩才知道发生了什么事。

After dealing with the political protests until the early evening, Mr. Lee had planned to check on the Halloween festivities that night. He finished dinner and headed to Itaewon a mile and half away, listening to communications on the police radio along the way.

直到傍晚都在忙于处理政治抗议活动的李仁宰,本打算晚间前往万圣节活动现场督查。他吃完晚饭后就前往2.5公里外的梨泰院,沿路收听了警方的无线电通讯。

Traffic was heavy, and after an hour in the car, he decided to get out and walk, his gait casual with his hands behind his back, according to surveillance camera footage. He later said during a parliamentary hearing that he was unaware of the crisis unfolding until he reached Itaewon at 11 p.m.

交通严重拥堵,被堵在车里一个小时后,他决定下车步行,监控录像显示,他在走路时双手背到身后,步态随意。后来他在议会听证会上表示,直到晚上11点抵达梨泰院,他才意识到发生了怎样的危机。

“I feel so miserable,” Mr. Lee said. “I will be guilty before the victims and their families as long as I live.”

“我真的太痛苦了,”李仁宰说。“只要我还活着,在遇难者及其家属面前我就永远是罪人。”
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