A nightmarish disaster whose victims are predominantly the young. A right-of-center leader whose popularity is sliding. A political flash point potentially in the making once the nation absorbs the tragedy.

It’s not hard to find echoes between the killing of more than 150 people crushed in a Halloween crowd surge in Seoul on Saturday and the deaths of more than 300 people, mainly high-school students, in the 2014 sinking of the Sewol ferry. In both cases, officialdom failed the nation’s youth, resulting in tragic, avoidable events on a scale that is scarcely imaginable. The public will demand answers.

The nation’s president at the time of the Sewol catastrophe, the disgraced and impeached Park Geun-hye, was for all her faults clearly not personally responsible for the sinking of the ferry, which was blamed on its operator overloading the vessel and the crew abandoning the passengers.