16 Dead, 11 Injured at South Korea 4Minute Concert Vent Grate Collapse

( [email protected] ) Oct 17, 2014 12:52 PM EDT
Popular South Korean Girl's Band Concert Collapse
Rescue workers stand around a collapsed ventilation grate at an outdoor theater in Seongnam, south of Seoul, South Korea. 14 were feared dead Friday after the ventilation grate collapsed during a concert by popular girls band 4Minute, officials said. (AP)

At an Outdoor concert venue in South Korea collapses during the middle of a concert, killing 16 people. They were standing over a ventilation grate, and when it collapsed, they fell 20 meters to their death, officials said.

This happened just south of Seoul, in Seongnam, at a popular girl's band concert, 4Minute. In addition to the 16 dead, 11 people were seriously injured, says a Seongnam official on a televised briefing. This concert was part of a bigger festival, and about 700 people total were at this concert.

South Korean Girl's Band 4Minute.
Popular South Korean Girl's Band 4Minute. (AHN YOUNG-JOON/AP)

Many of the witnesses were female students and the victims of the accident were immediately identified, says the YTN Television Network. Someone recorded a video of the concert, capturing the collapse, and YTN showed the band continuing with the act after the collapse happened, unaware.

After the ventilation grate collapsed, people were seen looking into the 3 or 4 meters wide hole. The grate reached the shoulders of many bystanders. The exact cause of this collapse is not known.

In April of this year, South Korea had a ferry accident that had more than 300 people either dead or missing. This is not South Korea's first problem with sinking or general safety. After this event, for a time, South Korea focused on improving safety, which was important shift from the usual focus in on war and poverty.

In the ferry accident, regulatory failures were exposed, as this ship and others are allowed to ship off with more cargo than one ship can carry. Miscommunications and delays also contributed to this tragic safety oversight, says family members of the dead or missing ferry workers.

General Safety problems in South Korea may stem from light punishment for lawbreakers, little regulation and general ignorance about safely practices, says Analysts. South Korea also has a history of valuing economic growth over all else. Hopefully, with this recent tragedy, lawmakers will buckle down on safe regulatory practices to prevent further accidents.