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2 expressway operation officials booked over deadly expressway tunnel fire

14:07 January 03, 2023

GWACHEON, South Korea, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- Police have booked two expressway officials as part of a probe into a recent expressway noise tunnel fire that killed five people and injured 41 others, officials said Tuesday.

The blaze occurred early Thursday afternoon inside a noise-barrier tunnel in Gwacheon, just south of Seoul, on the Second Gyeongin Expressway. The fire reportedly started from a 5-ton garbage truck and rapidly spread to engulf soundproof awnings, leaving several dozens of cars trapped inside the tunnel.

Of the 41 people hurt, three sustained serious injuries.

The Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency has recently questioned three officials from the 2nd Seoul-Incheon Linking Highway Co., the operator of the affected highway, and an employee of the company in charge of the tunnel construction, officials said.

Of them, two officials from the highway operation company have been booked for investigation on charges of professional negligence resulting in death for failing to respond properly in the wake of the fire, the officials added.

This photo, provided by a news reader, shows a fire engulfing a noise-barrier tunnel in the Gwacheon section of the Second Gyeongin Expressway on Dec. 29, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



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