Recently, on the evening of August 29 at roughly 7:25 p.m., a 28-year-old maintenance worker who was repairing a screen door at Gangnam Station was struck and killed by the incoming subway.
On the day of the accident, a report was made about a broken screen door at 6:41 p.m., and the worker, Mr. Cho, arrived at about 7:20.
According to a witness who was riding the subway at the time, “When the train from Yeoksam Station was coming into Gangnam, we heard a sudden thud. Later, when we got off the train, there was a man stuck between the subway and the screen door, bleeding.”
A source from the Seoul Metro spoke to the media, and said, “Normally, when the subways are running, we don’t do repairs in the insides of the screen doors. We didn’t receive a call at the control center to temporarily stop the subway, either. We’re currently investigating why [Mr. Cho] was inside of the screen door at the time of the accident.”
Regulations are in place for subway repairs, including requirements that at least two workers are present at all repair sites, no repairs are ongoing while the subway is in operation, and that in the case of a repair that must be done during hours of operation, a report is made and appropriate measures are taken.
However, according to reports, there are little to no enforcement regarding these rules. A Seoul Metro representative stated, “There is no penalty for not following the rules. There is simply a clause that states that in the case of an accident, the service company is to take full responsibility.”
Two days after the accident, Mr. Cho’s fiancée, whom he was to marry in January of next year, said, shedding tears, “Our families have met already and we set our wedding date in January. I can’t believe he’s gone and I’m at a loss.” She also adds, “He used to complain that he was instructed to work alone during subway hours of operation. Since he was the youngest employee, he often took care of simple repairs and inspections by himself.”