Onsite subway safety inspection on the occasion of the first anniversary of the rear-end collision accident at Sangwangshimni Station
Venue: Seoul Metro Head Office
The shocking report on the rear-end collision of a subway train at Sangwangshimni Station one year ago is still lingering in my head. I know that many of you at Seoul Metro and the SMG have worked late into the night, day after day, creating and implementing relevant measures to prevent the repetition of such an accident.
Thank you very much.
Today, we are gathered here to refresh our resolve not to repeat such an accident through water-tight checks. There is nothing more important than people’s safety. An old Korean saying points to the folly of fixing a broken stable door after the cow is stolen, but we must nevertheless fix the broken door so the mistake is not repeated. Despite many efforts, 20 to 30% of our original plans still remain unfulfilled. We must not let a similar accident happen again under any circumstances.
These days Koreans often talk much about Adm. Yi Sun-sin, perhaps due to the TV drama Jingbirok. He was truly a great naval hero. He won all of his 23 battles against the Japanese invaders. All odds were against him. His troops were not adequately supplied. The central government did not know how loyal he was. Well-preparedness and clever tactics helped him achieve such great successes. I think we must strive for the same virtues today.
At the time of the accident at Sangwangshimni Station, they told me that more than ten factors combined to cause the accident. We all know that people cannot be perfect. Those at the Metro told me everything was all right in terms of safety when I was there only a month before the accident. We must therefore be on alert at all times, against even the unlikeliest of accidents.
I also think that the subway system should undergo a thorough overhaul. Substantial measures are being taken to improve the system, and the Seoul Metropolitan Council is discussing raising the subway fare. I ask you to spend most of the profit resulting from the raise on safety measures. Needless to say, safety comes first in all transportation means.
I know that subway crew members and other employees are working in very poor conditions. Many subway trains are running all day. I feel as if the employees are creating miracles. Nevertheless, we must remember that a single accident can make all their great efforts worthless. Please do your best to prevent accidents. Thank you.