Not a banner month for public safety in Korea

A subway train apparently rear-ended a stationary one at Sangwangsimni Station, Line 2, leaving 170 with slight injuries.

According to the government (make of that what you will), many of the injuries came from passengers disobeying orders:

One subway car was derailed and passengers walked a short distance along the tracks to the station, YTN television said.

Many of the injuries were caused by passengers jumping from the subway cars onto the tracks, a government emergency official said.
[…]
An onboard announcement initially told passengers to stay inside, but most people ignored it and forced the doors open to escape, he said.

Can’t wait for that to be spun culturally.

A friend of mine sent me a tweet with an image of passengers walking along the rails:

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    I ride the Green Line (Nr. 2) through Sangwangsimni every working day! Good thing this wasn’t a working day for me . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • cmxc

    Is the headline of this post not the understatement of the century?

    Also, I can’t count the number of Koreans after the 2011 Japanese tsunami who told me (in a conspiratorial way) that the Japanese were being punished for all the bad things they did in the past.

    I wonder if those same Koreans are now asking themselves what bad things Koreans have done to deserve such punishment?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Some boat (with 400 on board) on its way to 독도 turns back due to engine problems with escort from the marine police
    http://media.daum.net/society/newsview?newsid=20140502185503761

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Hyundai Heavy Industries (head:정몽준) the day after his son’s famous remarks, 2 workers dead, 2 injured in an explosion.
    http://www.fnnews.com/view?ra=Sent1201m_View&corp=fnnews&arcid=201404220100245780012418&cDateYear=2014&cDateMonth=04&cDateDay=22

    Now, the Ulsan city has ordered all operations to be halted at their cargo harbour:
    http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/economy/2014/05/02/0302000000AKR20140502044300057.HTML

  • bumfromkorea

    If you can’t count the number of Koreans who told you that the Japanese were being punished, then I definitely don’t blame you for not being able to count the 3 billion yen in private donations to Japan from the South Koreans.

    But hey, statistics. Who cares about that? It’s all overwritten by individual perceptions and anecdotes. Am I right?

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    “many of the injuries came from passengers disobeying orders”

    Me too. I can’t wait for people to spin this culturally.

  • RElgin

    . . . An onboard announcement initially told passengers to stay inside, but most people ignored it and forced the doors open to escape

    The lack of trust and its relationship to governance maybe? The leading party had better find a mandate in this before they become even more irrelevant in the public’s eye.

  • bumfromkorea

    I am deeply concerned by the rate this administration is losing credibility (and thereby) legitimacy in the public’s eyes. Regardless of who’s in charge, such deterioration of public trust of the government cannot be a good thing for anyone.

  • Aja Aja

    “According to the government (make of that what you will), many of the injuries came from passengers disobeying orders:
    Can’t wait for that to be spun culturally.”

    Someone will inevitably say that “it’s because culturally Koreans are bad mannered animals who cannot keep a rule of law”. Or “it must be confucianism making people to care only about themselves.”

    But seriously, after what happened on the ship in which everyone were well aware of by now, and the Daegu fire in 2003 where the subway engineer broadcasted to the obeying passengers to stay put (while the smoke inside the trains increased), killing hundreds, I think a whole bunch of the passengers got fed up and said “screw it, we ain’t listening to any asshole who’s trying to kill us and we ain’t staying here, open the god damn door!”. Frankly, I don’t see how the Korean authorities are going to easily restore the lost trust in the Korean public institutions.

  • Aja Aja

    Of course, now every single little incidents which used to be daily happenings are going to show up on paper and be heavily scrutinized.

  • Aja Aja

    This is going to prove very dangerous later because people won’t listen to the authorities. Basically it will be a free for all.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    http://w3.sbs.co.kr/news/newsEndPage.do?news_id=N1002372799

    Most of them did not hear any orders, they claim they didn’t hear the loudspeaker to “wait” , and if anything, heard that the train will start again shortly when it was clear that it could not.

    And a lot did wait in the car for the firemen to arrive, but some nonetheless had 세월호 loudspeaker “stay where you are” incident at the back of their minds, understandably.

  • Aja Aja

    You want me to pull out all the twitter and facebook comments from Americans with real faces, not anicdotes, who made Fukushima jokes that year, and made themselves famous?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    What I would wish for is for is that sort of scrutiny to continue at some reasonable level from now on rather than just for the next 2 months and back to the same old same old.

  • Ewnerd Nasalo

    I don’t know how many injuries resulted from passengers jumping onto the rails. But the inside of the cars were far from safe:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BmnTSrICAAABdzf.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bmneb9ACAAAQcuD.jpg

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    I disagree.
    Now that I have heard many *in authority* speak, and that versus how reasonable and level-headed people who were at the accident scene sound (from the SBS report), I would say the reason Korea even functions at the level it functions is that people at the everyday level (yes including the students who listened to their demise) still tend to be very very reasonable..

    http://w3.sbs.co.kr/news/newsEndPage.do?news_id=N1002372799

  • Aja Aja

    According to here,

    http://news.hankooki.com/lpage/society/201405/h2014050217294621980.htm

    they called it “세월호 학습효과”. How many people really had Sewol in their back of their heads, and how many more will in the future?

  • redwhitedude

    It’s a culture of disobedience.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    The only people 세월호학습효과 should apply to are the authority figures, and always have been.

    Korean *people* on the whole are probably almost *as* exemplary in the behaviour as those who are in charge who fail them repeatedly, are *not*.

    출입문 가까이 서 있던 승객부터 한 줄로 서서 질서정연하게 대피했고, 승무원의 지시가 없었지만 누구도 서로 밀치거나 먼저 빠져나가려고 하지 않았다고 승객들은 전했다.

    열차 출입문이 플랫폼에 닿아있는 칸에 탔던 배승철(21)씨는 “당황했지만 같은 칸에 있던 승객들이 침착하게 한 줄로 서서 이동해 모두 다 빠져나오는 데 5분 정도밖에 걸리지 않았다”고 말했다.

    후속 열차 6번째 칸에 탔던 고현석(24)씨는 맨 마지막까지 열차 안에 남아 미처 빠져나가지 못한 승객이 없는지 확인한 뒤에야 대피했다.

    고씨는 “어르신이나 여성은 열차와 선로의 높이 차이가 부담돼 빠져나오기 어려울 것 같아 부축하거나 안고서 함께 선로로 내려왔다”면서 “나뿐만 아니라 많은 시민이 다 같이 노약자를 부축해 밖으로 이동했다”고 전했다.

    http://media.daum.net/society/others/newsview?newsid=20140502202607095&RIGHT_REPLY=R6

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I do find it rather funny that people have now come up with non-cultural explanations for this incident.

  • iwshim

    What happened on the train? It is not like the conductor in the second train got lost or made a wrong turn. Radio ahead
    , phone- how do you screw up on a train? All u have to do is stop.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Oh, before I forget, a friend of mine asked for your mailing address so he can send you a nice big box of raw shellfish. You know, in appreciation of the sacrifice you’re making for Korea by staying.

  • cmxc

    No need to offer me gifts.

    Doing the right thing is its own reward.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Many of the injuries were caused by passengers evacuating the train? That’s funny. I’d guess it would have been from the collision between two Line 2 trains at 3:30 on a weekday afternoon.

    Glad to hear there were no fatalities.

  • ChuckRamone

    There was even a Japanese politician who said that.

  • djson1

    There may have been some Koreans who spoke of bad karma during Fukushima’s aftermath, but I’d bet that that group of callous individuals is considerably insignificant compared to all of the Koreans that were compassionate towards Japan and its victims.

  • djson1

    So, what is that from? Were people bleeding in the cars?

  • Guest

    I can’t count the number either, because I never heard any Koreans say that.

    You obviously heard so many say it. How about an estimate. 1,000? 100? 10? 1?

  • Seoulgoodman

    “Can’t wait for that to be spun culturally.”

    “Mmm…It’s because Confucianism, right? Like, something to do with…Oh, I give up” [Foreign reporter’s mind blown]. 😉

    Actually, given the recent shipwreck still being fresh in everyone’s minds and, more importantly, the Daegu subway fire, I totally understand some passengers wanted to get the fk out of the there

  • Seoulgoodman

    No, it doesn’t. Take the raw shellfish.

    PS. Don’t forget to ask for it to be sent by freight since it leaves a smaller carbon footprint.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Exactly.

  • Seoulgoodman

    No, the floor normally looks like that.

  • Seoulgoodman

    Yeah. Sounds like a lot of BS to me. I’ve pulled a muscle in my shoulder when the subway driver hit the brakes too hard, so I imagine those injured weren’t just bruised.

  • Sumo294

    Well said–I could not agree more or had said it better myself.

  • redwhitedude

    After the blundering on the part of the captain and his crew I’m not sure if people are going to trust instructions given to them. That ferry shouldn’t have even been sailing nor the company owning them been in operation.

  • redwhitedude

    Now that is new. Religious explanation instead of cultural.

  • redwhitedude

    That’s a lot of waster ketchup.

  • redwhitedude

    Looks like somebody was being whimpy about the explanation of the accident. Maybe somebody dozed off on the job and was afraid that there is going to be a lynching mob waiting for him in light of the ferry accident.

  • j.kimchi

    Seriously, I’ve followed this blog for a year or so.

    Why do you write your FULL name as a sign off on EVERY fucking comment? I give you props if you’re trying to induce rage because you’re an expert at it.

    -J.Kimchi

    * * *
    ___

    ###

    ^^^

  • JW

    The real lesson here is that this forum would be a much more hospitable place if people like you kept their pet peeves to themselves. Language nazis, are you listening?

  • cactusmcharris

    No, I’m not. I refuse to do so.

  • cactusmcharris

    Dude, if you were here I’d give you a hug and a beer, because you evidently need both.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Not my full name. Just “Jeffery Hodges,” so people won’t call me “Horace” — as I told you last time you asked. Pay attention!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • redwhitedude

    People in other parts of the world kill others. Koreans kill themselves in Korea. :-/

  • Dokdoforever

    Someone was in a bad mood.. please use as many names as you like.

  • cmxc

    You moron, the fact that Koreans donated money to the Japanese following the 2011 tsunami does not in any way, shape, or form, change the other fact that there is widespread belief in Korea that Japan deserves ‘punishment’ for its historical wrongdoings against Korea.

  • cmxc

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha – Korean entertainment industry wants to sue for plagiarism — http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140502000981 – ha ha ha ha – if that is not the ultimate case of the pot calling the kettle black – ha ha ha ha

  • Aja Aja

    What’s this got to do with the current subject?

  • redwhitedude

    eh, perhaps lack of originality in causing accidents??

  • Aja Aja

    huh?

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    @bumfromkorea:disqus, looks like he can’t count, nor does he have any understanding of statistics. Unlike the incident, cxmc’s ignorance may have a cultural explanation: Americans suck at math.

  • RElgin

    I’ve often noted that the train operators for some time now act like bus drivers or worse; releasing line pressure on the brakes with the doors to the train open (DAMNED LOUD), LOUD, bleating announcements, over the intercom, that are pointless, sudden acceleration or stopping that has thrown people off balance. and some spots on the green line track now sound more like the hellish screeching in the NYC subway.

  • RElgin

    I heard only one make that remark but it was half in jest. No big deal.

  • bumfromkorea

    Here you go. At least it’s a start.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIniljT5lJI

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Haven’t you heard? Since the Sewol tragedy, Korea has rejected Confucianism. The proper cultural explanation is now the absence of Confucianism! See? Confucianism is still at fault — it’s always the main factor, even in its absence!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • sloppycho
  • sloppycho
  • sloppycho

    Ah, and who could forget the Metro-North derailment that killed four people.

    After derailment, federal report finds Metro-North cares more about punctuality than safety

  • sloppycho

    That Chicago one was a doozy. Check out the video. Straight outta Hollywood.

    Right up the escalators

  • redwhitedude

    It’s a copy cat accident!

  • redwhitedude

    Yeah like that Die Hard movie that featured a subway.

  • cactusmcharris

    I do wish you used your Roman name more often – it makes you look oder.

  • bumfromkorea

    Okay, that’s just an invitation for everyone to call you Horace from now on, Horace.

  • djson1

    I was getting at what happened and why were they bleeding, smartass.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    I’ve not previously responded because I’ve been puzzled by what “oder” might mean.

    Does it mean “older”?

    Or “odder”?

    Or the German “oder”?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    P.S. Mr. Kimchi, you are either a callow youth or an old fool, but allow me to give you some advice — though if you are the former, you won’t listen, and if you are the latter, the advice will come too late.

    Never put yourself in the weak position of admitting that your apparently precarious emotional state depends in some way upon your opponent.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Seoulgoodman

    Still a stupid question. Use your imagination. Lots of people ended up with their faces on the floor. What do you think happens when someone gets a broken nose?

  • Koreandumbdumb

    I want Korean military to take over the government and execute all who are associated with Sewol and do a sweeping re-examination of all the rich in Korea to find out how they came to have what they have. And, put the dirty rich people to jail. Clean the house so to speak. The French revolution in Korea! Korea needs one.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Actually, The da-da Park did this exact thing when he rose up in revolution. That is why Koreans love da-da Park. That is until he wanted to be the president for the third term. Then, no da-da. The princess knows this and she should resign, giving the command to the highest ranking military person. So, he can clean the house.

  • silver surfer

    They hire temps and scabs to undermine unions, because class war is more important than the public good.

  • cactusmcharris

    For shame, sir, I fear you’re stirring the beginnings of senility. Horace and his odes…..

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    After some 2000 years of hanging around on earth, I do need to worry about senility, but I’ve returned to the muse for inspiration these past few decades . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • redwhitedude

    Not possible. There still a lot of people who have a bad aftertaste of military getting involved in running the government.

  • redwhitedude

    But this screw up wasn’t her fault. It just happened while she was in office. Apparently the company that owned Sewol was playing with fire given how they ran things.

  • JW

    “이날 오전 6시 17분 세월호 선체 우현에 안내줄 설치 작업을 하던 이 씨가 통신 응답이 없고 호흡 소리도 비정상적으로 변하자 바지선에서 대기 중이던 잠수사 2명이 입수해 오전 6시 21분 이 씨를 물 밖으로 꺼냈다. 이 씨는 의식이 없고 숨을 쉬지 않는 상태였지만 바지선 위에는 의사가 없었다.”

    http://news.donga.com/Main/3/all/20140507/63288424/

    When the grievously injured diver (who eventually died) was brought back up to the deck of the civilian barge ship, there wasn’t a doctor immediately available. Medical supplies were lacking and at least some divers weren’t properly checked for health issues. Naturally, some people are getting outraged that even after everything that has transpired, safety precautions and procedures appears to have been overlooked for some of these divers. Just unbelievable. What a stupefying turn of events this has become.

  • jg29a

    “many of the injuries came from passengers disobeying orders”

    …or just being out of shape, unathletic and/or stupid about where they jumped.