Subway arsonist gets life sentence

A South Korean man whose botched suicide attempt sparked a fire on a crowded subway that killed at least 192 people has been jailed for life on Wednesday.

    It took forensic experts months to identify the victims

    Kim Dae-Han, a taxi driver with a history of mental illness, was spared the death penalty sought by the prosecution because of his condition and remorse for causing the deaths and leaving 147 people injured, according to court officials.

    Relatives of the victims reacted angrily at the verdict, demanding the death penalty.

    Kim, 56, spread petrol in a crowded subway car and set it alight before jumping out of the train at a station on 18 February in Taegu, 320 km southeast of the capital Seoul.

    The court also sentenced the engineers of two subway trains which burned and six other Taegu subway employees to jail terms ranging from 18 months to five years for negligence in one of South Korea’s worst ever transport disasters. 

    Subway officials have been accused of failing to respond swiftly to the danger of the fire by evacuating passengers promptly.

    The blaze prompted Seoul to double this year’s budget for subway fire prevention to some $20 million, which will be used for buying heat resistant suits, special vehicles to extract smoke from underground facilities and vision-aid lanterns that can allow the users to see in smoke-filled areas.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.