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Government calls for prosecution probe into police following deadly Osong underpass flooding

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : July 21, 2023 - 13:18

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Rescuers on Monday, including the Coast Guard, search on foot in the Gunpyeong underpass in Osong, Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, which was flooded due to torrential rain on July 17. (Yonhap) Rescuers on Monday, including the Coast Guard, search on foot in the Gunpyeong underpass in Osong, Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, which was flooded due to torrential rain on July 17. (Yonhap)

The Office for Government Policy Coordination has requested prosecutors to investigate six police officers linked to the flooding of Osong's underground tunnel, a disaster that resulted in numerous casualties.

The Office for Government Policy Coordination is a government agency consisting of the Prime Minister's Office and Prime Minister's Secretariat.

The office issued a statement on Friday revealing it had uncovered "criminal charges" concerning the officers during an inspection and deemed an immediate and unbiased investigation to be essential.

The inspection process revealed a grave error in the handling of a 112-report case. In addition, a "false report" was submitted to the Prime Minister's Office during the process of assessing the police response.

As to why it had contacted the prosecution, the office stated, "Should the police investigation headquarters probe its own officers, the credibility of the results may be compromised. As such, we have requested an investigation by the prosecution."

The Office for Government Policy Coordination initiated an inspection Monday to ascertain the cause of the deadly incident at the Osong underpass.

The office confirmed that emergency evacuation requests for Osong residents and emergency control of the Gunpyeong underpass were received at 7:02 a.m. and 7:58 a.m., before the accident, which occurred around 8:40 a.m.