Subway explosion injures 11 in South Korea, ramping up safety doubts


An electrical problem caused an explosion at a South Korean subway station Monday evening, lightly injuring 11 people, an emergency official said.

A part of the train’s electrical insulation device was damaged and triggered the explosion at a station in Gunpo, just south of Seoul, local emergency official Yoo Hyung-gi said. He said operations at the station resumed later.

The incident came as South Korean media ramped up their focus on allegations of widespread safety negligence in the country following a ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing last month. There is suspicion that the ferry set off with far more cargo than it could safely carry and that crew members abandoned passengers in need.

Earlier this month, a subway train plowed into the back of another train at a station in Seoul, inflicting mostly minor injuries on more than 240 people.

The series of incidents threw a spotlight on South Korea’s infrastructure and safety after the country’s rapid rise from the destruction of the 1950-53 Korean War to become Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.

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