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지나쌤

Doctor-lawmaker blasted for hitching ambulance ride to Itaewon disaster

By Kim Arin

Published : Dec. 21, 2022 - 17:49

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Democratic Party of Korea Rep. Shin Hyun-young is pictured at the scene of the fatal crowd crush on the streets of Itaewon, Seoul, on Oct. 30. (posted Oct. 30 on Shin’s Facebook page) Democratic Party of Korea Rep. Shin Hyun-young is pictured at the scene of the fatal crowd crush on the streets of Itaewon, Seoul, on Oct. 30. (posted Oct. 30 on Shin’s Facebook page)

Doctor-turned-lawmaker Rep. Shin Hyun-young of the Democratic Party of Korea has been reported to the police for the second time on Wednesday for hitching a ride on an ambulance heading to the scene of the crowd crush in Itaewon, Seoul, on Oct. 30.

Seoul councilor Lee Jong-bae filed a police report against Shin, accusing her of “interfering with emergency services,” just a day after a group of public welfare activists reported her to the police for abuse of power.

Shin faces the allegation that she had an emergency medical services vehicle drop by her residence to pick her and her husband up, delaying its arrival at the scene of the disaster by up to 20 to 30 minutes.

The EMS vehicle took about 54 minutes to get to Itaewon after departing from Myongji Hospital, which is about 25 kilometers away, according to Ministry of Health and Welfare data submitted to People Power Party Rep. Lee Jong-seong’s office.

Other EMS vehicles departing from hospitals located at a similar distance or farther away had arrived in Itaewon within 21 to 26 minutes, the ministry data showed.

The ministry said it was investigating Myongji Hospital, where Shin worked as an assistant professor of family medicine before becoming a National Assembly member, into how the lawmaker came to board the EMS vehicle.

Shin said Tuesday she was stepping down from the Democratic Party’s committee for parliamentary probe of the Itaewon disaster.

“If my joining the response caused inconvenience, I sincerely apologize,” she said in a statement. “I believed that I would be able to contribute as a part of the emergency response team, not as an Assembly member, but as a doctor.”