If you haven’t been keeping up with the national news in South Korea, there’s been a spate of attacks and threats being made recently, which understandably has a lot of South Koreans on edge.
Needless to say, screaming in an enclosed space like a subway is probably not the best thing to do in this heightened security environment (or ever, really), but police say that foreigner BTS fans doing just that while watching a livestream seemingly triggered panic and reports to authorities.
Fans initially defended themselves by referencing an SBS report from August 6 at 6 AM PST that cited police and fire authorities, who stated a report of a gas smell as a cause of the panic.
That does seem to have also played a role as well, but a report later from the same SBS News on August 6 at 10 PM PST said police mentioned screams from BTS fans over Suga‘s tattoo reveal as the catalyst for the incident.
Yesterday around 8.40pm, reports were received about “a weird smell and people running around” on a fast-train subway bound for Sinnonhyun station on Line 9. As the passengers all alighted at the same time as soon as the train stopped at Sinnonhyun station, 7 people were hurt with bruises and scratches. Although the police and firemen searched the inside and outside of the the subway train, there was no gas leak, and of course, it was confirmed that there was no terrorist attack.
A representative at the fire department said, “We tested for any gases and we did not find any gas or harmful gases, or things like that. We helped all passengers evacuate from the station and on to level ground…”
The police explained that “This issue was a happening that occurred due to the screams of foreigners who had been watching a BTS video in the subway.”
That is undoubtedly what SBS News quotes the police as saying, and they are reporting this in multiple videos about the incident on their YouTube channel as well.
What’s still unclear is whether they police have got it right or not, as the foreign fan whose video is being used in some of these news reports has claimed that she was not even on that same subway where the incident occurred.
please stop with all the hateful comments. here is the full explanation! pic.twitter.com/4SMGDCxaEF— 💜 (@egcaniza) August 6, 2023
The video in question:
It’s honestly a bit of a confusing situation that doesn’t yet have absolute clarity, and I’m not sure we’re gonna get anymore either. Based on their tone from reports, authorities don’t seem to care much what the root cause of the chaos was, as they just seem glad no attack happened and are moving on to bigger issues.
It is worth noting that there was an alleged witness on the subway where the incident occurred and they said it was a foreigner watching a video screaming that caused it (they are now being attacked as well even though they did not mention BTS). Doesn’t seem farfetched that other BTS fans could’ve been on that subway and screamed as well, even if the account that posted the video that’s being used wasn’t on that same subway.
You decide what’s most likely.
Anyway, things are a mess on social media as people try to blame or defend BTS stans for this or that, but I thought this would help clear up where things stand now in terms of what’s being reported in Korea at least.
Either way, my main takeaway from all this is not only to know what’s going on in the news before you do things, but most importantly to simply not scream like a crazy person if nothing serious is happening.