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Searching for Blame in Deadly South Korean Building Collapse
Written by Lee Yoo Eun On 20 February 2014 @ 1:25 am | No Comments
In Citizen Media, Disaster, East Asia, Education, English, Feature, Governance, Korean, Media & Journalism, South Korea, Youth
Ten college students were killed  and 105 injured in a building collapse in South Korea on February 17, 2014. In a country where the dreadful memories of the Sampoong disaster , which claimed over 500 lives, and other deadly collapses are still fresh among adults, online venues have been flooded with concerns over the repeated safety lapses and discussions on who or what to blame for incidents such as these.
The accident occurred  as heavy snow caved in the roof of a building where 500 freshmen from the Pusan University of Foreign Studies were staying for two days of orientation events before embarking on their very first semester there.
Some initial media reports pointed fingers at the student council for organizing the event  [ko] without the university's supervision and specifically, for choosing that location, or at the Mother Nature. Unusually heavy snow  [ko] far exceeding the region's average precipitation hit the city of Gyeongju for several consecutive days, and the sheer weight of the snow is reported to have put so much pressure on the facility's steel panels that they snapped.
However, as investigation progressed, many seemed to reach the conclusion that this may have been a preventable manmade disaster after all. The collapsed building Manua Ocean Resort was built rather hastily in only two and a half months  [ko], and since construction finished in 2009, it had never had a single regular safety check-up  [ko].
폭격도 아니고 눈이 쌓인 걸로 건물이 무너졌으니 1차적으로는 해당 건축물을 설계, 시공한 자들과 관리 운영해온 자들이 책임을 져야하지 대체 TL엔 부산외대가 돈이 없어서 총학생회가 부실한 곳으로 OT를 갔다니 하는 이야기가 왜 나오는건지..
— 박예나 (@epistazo2) February 17, 2014 
It is not like the building was shelled; it collapsed only because of the heaping piles of snow. The first ones to blame are the ones who built that building and who are in charge of the building's maintenance. Why do some people in my Timeline keep talking about how the college had a shortage of funds so the student council had to choose a cheaper location for the orientation?
백화점에 다리까지 붕괴되어보고도 이런 일이 생겨야하나.. 여태 토건에 풀린 돈이 얼만데..
— TERrY (@leetj20) February 17, 2014 
How do such things keep happening, despite all the money spent [to enhance] the construction sector, and even after we had a department store and a bridge collapse?
삼풍백화점 붕괴, 성수대교 붕괴, 화성 씨랜드 참사, 인천 라이브호프집 참사, 태안 공주사대부고 해안 사설 병영캠프 참사.. 그 많은 ‘인재’ 참사에도 배운게 없나요? 경주 마우나리조트 대학생 OT 폭설 참사, 부모 마음으로 너무 참담하고 화납니다
— 표창원 (Changwon Pyo) (@DrPyo) February 18, 2014 
Collapse of the Sampoong Department Store , Hwaseong Sealand disaster , Incheon Bar fire  [ko], Taean Seaside bootcamp disaster … All those manmade disasters, have we learnt nothing from them? This Gyeongju Mauna resort disaster – as a person who has children, I feel so miserable and also furious.
경주 리조트 붕괴와 신용카드 고객정보 유출 사건에는 공통점이 있습니다. 우리 사회에 만연된 위험감수(risk taking)의 문화입니다. 새로 일을 벌이는데만 관심이 있고, 세심하게 관리하거나 일어날 수 있는 위험에 대해서는 생각하지 않는 것입니다.
— 안철수 (@cheolsoo0919) February 18, 2014 
There is a similar pattern between the Gyeongju resort facility collapse and the recent mass credit card data breach : our society's “risk-taking” culture. They are all focused on starting new things, but don't pay as much attention to possible risks ahead nor give extra care to maintenance.
— 위키트리 (@wikitree) February 17, 2014 
This is a photo from the Gyeongju Mauna Report collapse scene, shared by a net user of online community site ‘I Love Soccer’.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/20/searching-for-blame-in-deadly-south-korean-building-collapse/
URLs in this post:
 Ten college students were killed: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2014/02/17/0200000000AEN20140217009154315.html?input=www.tweeter.com
 Sampoong disaster: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampoong_Department_Store_collapse
 The accident occurred: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303491404579389673484667830?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303491404579389673484667830.html
 the student council for organizing the event: http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/local/2014/02/18/0802000000AKR20140218057000051.HTML
 Unusually heavy snow: http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=201402172356075&code=940202
 only two and a half months: http://t.co/Sf5RzSJGog
 had never had a single regular safety check-up: http://goo.gl/4CzrFh
 February 17, 2014: https://twitter.com/epistazo2/statuses/435450200237150213
 February 17, 2014: https://twitter.com/leetj20/statuses/435457680514088960
 February 18, 2014: https://twitter.com/DrPyo/statuses/435743613746565123
 Hwaseong Sealand disaster: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/asiapcf/9906/30/korea.fire.02/
 Incheon Bar fire: http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EC%9D%B8%ED%98%84%EB%8F%99_%ED%98%B8%ED%94%84%EC%A7%91_%ED%99%94%EC%9E%AC_%EC%B0%B8%EC%82%AC
 Taean Seaside bootcamp disaster: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130721000234
 February 18, 2014: https://twitter.com/cheolsoo0919/statuses/435622858690007040
 mass credit card data breach: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/01/24/massive-credit-card-data-theft-hits-20-million-south-koreans/
 http://t.co/QDu3UJJYOa: http://t.co/QDu3UJJYOa
 @nanamjmj: https://twitter.com/nanamjmj
 pic.twitter.com/GbHDuHcYxP: http://t.co/GbHDuHcYxP
 February 17, 2014: https://twitter.com/wikitree/statuses/435410827445678080
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