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Apartment collapse in Pyongyang killed over 160 people

Updated May. 19, 2014 00:23

한국어

An apartment building under construction in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang has collapsed. The Central News Agency of North Korea said the accident occurred in the Pyongchon District of the capital on last Tuesday as "the construction of the apartment building was not done properly, and officials supervised and controlled it in an irresponsible manner." However, the new agency did not reveal the accident’s cause and damage scale in detail.

An official from the South Korean government said, “A 23-story apartment building in Ansan 1 dong in the Pyongchon District of Pyongyang collapsed on May 13. It is estimated that 92 households had been living in the building before the completion of its construction.” Considering that a minimum of three to four people live in a household, the total casualties from this accident are estimated to be over 300. A source said, “The death toll has exceeded 160,” citing a Chinese business man coming out of Pyongyang.

North Korea has exceptionally delivered the news on the accident and broadcast the direct apology of People`s Security Minister Choe Pu Il. He said, “The responsibility of the accident falls on me who didn’t uphold the politics of loving the people by the People’s Party of North Korea,” adding, “The crime committed before the public can never be compensated or forgiven.”

The North’s state-owned newspaper published a photo of an official lowering his head in front of the residents. A South Korean official said, "It is the first time for North Korea to release its official making an apology to the public as it delivers news on accidents not caused by natural disasters.” Some officials in the South Korean government said there is a possibility that the North Korean regime punishes people responsible for the accident as well as making an unprecedented apology in a swift manner, in order to show the regime is different from the South Korean government, which is in trouble due to the Sewol ferry accident.