[스브스夜] ‘Kokkomu’ Sealand Fire Disaster… What is the truth about the incident that took the lives of angelic children?

Love

Why was the summer camp the last day?

The story of the day that should never happen again was revealed under the subtitle ‘Last Summer Camp: Sealand Fire Disaster’ in SBS ‘The Story of the Day Biting the Tail’ (hereinafter ‘Kokkomu’), which was broadcast on the 9th.

On June 29, 1999, the kindergarten 7-year-old Sarah attends left for a summer camp on the west coast for two days and one night. Sera, who even packs her favorite Sailor Moon pajamas, handed her a puppy doll, an attachment doll, to her father and asked, “Please take good care of our dog until Daddy comes back from camp.”

A day like no other had passed, except that Sarah was not at home, and at dawn the next day, Sarah’s father suddenly received a phone call from his sister-in-law. The story of a sister-in-law who urgently needs to turn on the TV. And the sister-in-law could not speak any more and cried.

As soon as I turned on the TV, breaking news came out. A fire broke out at Sealand Training Center, a youth training center in Hwaseong-gun, Gyeonggi-do. This place, which was a popular training center at the time, was none other than the place where Sarah left the camp.

At that time, there were a total of 550 people sleeping at Sea Land, including Sarah’s Somang Kindergarten. Of these, as many as 500 were children from kindergartens or hagwons.

In Sealand, where the first floor was not used and only the second and third floors were used as guest rooms, there was a long corridor in the middle and a total of 26 rooms were arranged on both sides. The children who came to the room after 9pm fell asleep.

It was in such a situation that a fire occurred. The first to detect the fire was Song Young-gyu, the director of the Taekwondo Dojo, who had visited in advance of the day. He got up to go home at 1 a.m. when he noticed something was wrong. When I opened the door, white smoke passed around the fluorescent lamp. And when I looked at the hallway, the entire hallway on the third floor was already covered in smoke.

Director Song, who instinctively sensed the fire, pressed the fire alarm. However, the smoke alarm did not work. At this, he hurriedly shouted the fire. Then the teachers who were sleeping in the room ran out. And Director Song and the teachers quickly evacuated the children.

In an urgent situation, I had to wake up the children somehow and go out, but at that moment, there was a power outage and I became a father-in-law. Director Song and other teachers forced the children to wake up and go outside. When the children couldn’t find their way in the dark, Director Song’s wife applauded and guided the children along the way.

At the moment of hastily evacuated, the smoke had already descended to the second floor. Meanwhile, Director Song found the place where the fire started. The fire started in Room 301. When I opened the door to Room 301, black smoke poured out. Director Song operated the fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire, but even this did not work properly.

Flames and toxic gases constantly soaring. In that situation, Director Song shouted to save at least one more person. At that moment, the cry of a child was heard from room 302. Thinking that he had to save the children unconditionally, he woke them up, went crazy and picked up the children who could not get up and went outside. And other adults helped him to rescue the children. In that way, the children in Room 302 succeeded in rescuing all of them. However, the moment they left the building with the last child in their arms, an electric wire exploded from the outside, and the entire building was engulfed in flames.

Sealand was in a state of near burnout within 20 minutes of witnessing the fire. The speed at which the fire spread was too fast. However, the fire engine still did not arrive. In the event of a fire, the golden hour was 2 minutes from reception, 5 minutes to dispatch, 7 minutes, but 20 minutes after reporting, a fire engine barely arrived. Then, many fire engines arrived, but the situation was already irreversible.

The fire was extinguished at 4 a.m. and a full-scale search operation began. The body found on the second floor was found near the entrance to Room 223. The small body was the only one among 74 students from a kindergarten in Bucheon who could not be rescued. At that time, Hye-ji’s teacher clearly woke her up and brought her out, but when she checked the number of people, she said that the child was not in sight.

The third floor was where the fire started, so the situation was different from the second floor. Additional bodies were found everywhere. 1 person in room 318, 3 people in room 306. These were elementary school teachers and Sealand part-timers, who unfortunately died while rescuing children.

And room 301, where the fire started, was still full of flames. And the firefighter could not hide his shock when he saw a bunch of things gathered under the window. The number of dead bodies that were entangled in ashes and burned could not be confirmed with the naked eye. These bodies were 7-year-old Haenim class children and Serane class children from Somang Kindergarten.

Sarah’s father couldn’t believe his daughter’s name on the death list. He said, “Even if the child was injured, I had the heart to stay alive. I thought this would not be the reality,” he said, and suffered from the unbelievable reality.

After checking the children’s names on the list of deaths, the parents rushed to the National Forensic Service. I could only believe it when I saw the child with my own eyes. But the national fruit tree dried up the parents. The damage was so severe that even parents would not be able to recognize it. There was a sea of ​​weeping at the story that there were no bones left that could not be seen with the naked eye.

However, Sera’s father, fearing that she will never see her again, risked his pain and decided to check Sera’s body. And he recognized Sarah at once. Sailor Moon pajamas were left on one side of the body’s leg.

A total of 18 people died in Room 301, and all the children of Somang Kindergarten’s Haenim class were killed. There were people who suffered just as much from this fact as their parents. He was Director Song Young-gyu.

Director Song Young-gyu said, “I found out the next day. Someone said that they had saved all the children while we were moving. So I thought they had really saved them all. But the next morning, when I saw the news, the children were dead. That’s still a trauma. Just thinking about it makes me unable to sleep and it hurts,” he said, suffering from memories of the past.

In response, his wife said, “I ran out several times during the night. The children kept crying.” Director Song Young-gyu, who saved more children than anyone else, suffered from guilt for not saving all the children.

But there was something strange. There were no adults among the bodies found in Room 301. Obviously, the 6- and 7-year-old children had to be accompanied by a teacher, but there was no teacher by the side of the children who died in distress in Room 301. It was the same when rescuing the children of Room 302.

So, where were the teachers of Somang Kindergarten and what were they doing? At that time, the director of Somang Kindergarten said that the teachers had a discussion time in room 314. And he said he went to check the children from time to time. Room 314 is the room directly opposite room 301. However, it was hard to believe that they did not know the fire and did not rescue the children.

The director’s excuse was that he didn’t know that the fire had started because he was having a meeting, and when he found out that the fire was too strong, he couldn’t go in to rescue him. But this was not true. The teachers were having a dinner party, not a meeting. They put the children to sleep and were drinking.

And those who rescued the children at the time revealed that they had not seen anyone from Room 314, where there were teachers of Somang Kindergarten. Anyway, at the moment of fire, it was clear that there was not a single teacher by the children of Hope Kindergarten.

The storytellers and storytellers couldn’t hide their tears at the writing of the child of the Haenim class who passed away that day. The child said, “I am not at Somang Kindergarten. I love the teacher. I believe in the teacher of the Haenim class.”

Why did the Sealand fire start? The on-site investigation of the fire that started inside Room 301 was carried out, and the results came out in just two days. As a result of the investigation by the National Forensic Service, the fire that started from mosquito incense spread to tissues and clothes, which became a big fire. However, the family could not understand this.

Therefore, the experts set all the conditions equally and conducted the experiment. However, it was impossible to start a fire with a mosquito incense fire. Since there are many possibilities, it is impossible to conclude with the results of the experiment, but through eyewitness accounts at the time, reasonable doubts arose as to whether there was an electrical problem. However, the investigation into this has not proceeded.

There was a significant difference because if mosquito coils were the cause of the fire, it was the responsibility of Somang Kindergarten teacher, and if it was an electrical problem, it was the responsibility of Sealand officials and the relevant government agency responsible for managing Sealand, in other words, the government. However, the National Forensic Service said it was not an electrical problem.

It is still a conclusion difficult for the bereaved to accept. In the end, the bereaved family went to the scene to find out the cause of the fire on their own. And even before entering the training center, I couldn’t hide my shock when I saw the entrance road. Buses could not enter the ramp where only one car could pass. This was the reason why the fire engine arrived late at the time of the accident.

But this was only the beginning. The family members who arrived at the scene of the fire were at a loss for words. Sealand with its 2nd and 3rd floors crumpled like a piece of paper. In this building, only the first floor is a concrete building, and the second and third floors are prefabricated temporary buildings, which are stacked containers. Even the containers were not welded to each other and only roughly connected with silicone.

And the roof was made of sandwich panels with Styrofoam between the steel plates. In particular, as there was no iron plate in the sandwich panel, the styrofoam was exposed as it was, and the fire caught on in an instant. The wall was even worse. It was made like a model by attaching plywood to Styrofoam and then attaching wallpaper to it. The parents who saw the inside of Room 301 couldn’t contain their anger.

The director of Sealand aroused even more anger by revealing that this structure was to save money. If you use concrete and rebar properly, it costs 15 million won per room, but if you put it in a container, it costs 2.1 million won, which is 7 times the cost. Electrical installations were left to unlicensed contractors, and everything was a mess, as were the firefighting facilities. The fire extinguisher was defective in the first place, and the alarm was turned off for fear of children playing, causing anger between Tablo and Jang Hyeon-seong.

In a place where the safety of children should be considered as the top priority, safety was at the forefront. So, how could this building be built with permission? When related officials were summoned to investigate, Sealand’s building permit and building drawings were all fake. And all the officials involved said they didn’t know.

However, at this time, a public official who was in charge of the training center license at the county office submitted a notebook to the police. It is said that Manager Kang was particularly interested in Sealand and pressured him to give permission to Sealand. It was speculated that there was pressure from Kang’s superiors, but there was no evidence.

The final judgment of the Sealand disaster was five years in prison and a fine of 5 million won for the director of Sealand. Somang Kindergarten Director 2 years and 6 months in prison, Haenim class teacher 1 year and 6 months in prison with 2 years probation, Hwaseong County Office Manager Kang 1 year in prison, probation 2 years. And all other related officials were released without charge.

The bereaved families demanded a re-investigation of the unacceptable and disastrous results. The bereaved family also visited the National Assembly and applied for a meeting with the prime minister nine times, but each time they were rejected. The hearts of the bereaved have changed from sadness to anger.

Among the survivors, Do Hyeon-i’s mother is former national field hockey player Kim Soon-deok, who was awarded the Medal of Merit for Physical Education. After losing Do-hyeon, he returned his medal, saying, “I saw the government dealing with our children, and I thought it was garbage.” It was then that a meeting with the Prime Minister was held.

Meeting with the Prime Minister held 50 days after the accident. At that time, the prime minister promised a re-investigation, but there was no further investigation. And four months after the Sealand disaster, 55 people died and 79 people were seriously injured in a fire accident in Inhyeon-dong, Incheon. Most of the victims were middle and high school students, and the cause and process of the accident were similar to those of the Sealand disaster.

In the end, Do-hyun’s family left Korea. They emigrated because they no longer wanted to live in this country.

Six months after the accident, the main contents of the government that published the Sealand White Paper were accident management and compensation. The most important thing in the white paper to prevent this from happening again is to identify the cause of the accident and take measures to prevent recurrence, but there was no problem or concern for the future. And the phrase “smooth early correction” written in the white paper made me frown.

In the end, the bereaved family re-created the white paper. The reasons for publishing their white paper were as follows.

It has been 9 months since we lost our children. How should we live in the world? We are just not confident and afraid, but we have work to do, so we stand up again. Not a single thing was properly revealed, but rather, our hearts as we watched the case become smaller and distorted were only burned to the brim like charcoal.

It was very difficult for us, without any professional knowledge, to follow each case and find out. However, I studied and studied again and again to uncover the truth. Even if we were unable to uncover all the truth due to our weak strength, we would like to provide only the foundation for that. With this as a springboard, I just hope that all doubts will be quickly resolved and that our children’s souls may rest in peace.

To this, Tablo said, “How difficult it must be for the bereaved families to have to re-create the white paper. To rearrange this. But I am so upset that I had to do that.”

Families made promises to their children. I promise to reveal the truth and make sure that no more children are sacrificed. And to keep this promise, they created the Korea Children’s Safety Foundation. The founding cost of this foundation was provided by compensation for the loss of a child.

The children’s funeral was held 38 days after the disaster. The remains of the children were scattered in the East Sea, the furthest from Sealand.

Those involved in the accident who appeared on this day’s broadcast had a really hard time putting up their courage. They had only one reason to be courageous. Because there was a story I wanted to tell.

Sarah’s father said, “I feel like nothing has changed even after more than 20 years have passed. I don’t know why these kinds of accidents keep happening over and over again,” said Sarah’s father. I hope that you will make a decision after deliberation on whether it is okay to do it or not, and help prevent an accident like this from happening again.”

Baek Ji-young, who heard the story of that day, said, “There are too many unjust deaths in the world. But there is no way that it is not me.” He said, “Would these people live thinking that it was me?”

And Vivi said frankly, “There are still many such buildings and such accidents are happening.

Tablo said, “Children say they love their teachers and they believe in them, but adults aren’t really trustworthy. That’s why I’m so sorry.”

In addition, Jang Do-yeon said, “Isn’t it only innocent children who were sacrificed because of irresponsible adults? I felt sorry as an adult.”

(SBS Entertainment News Editor Kim Hyo-jung)

Reference-news.sbs.co.kr

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