A high school student who survived the Itaewon crowd crush on Oct. 29 was found dead in a suspected suicide.
According to a statement from the police, the male teenager's body was discovered at an accommodation in western Seoul at 11:40pm on Monday (Dec. 12).
The Korea Herald reported that the police were searching for the student after his mother reported him missing 30 minutes prior to the discovery.
A forensic examination at the scene revealed no suicide note and no signs of foul play.
Police identified the teenager as a survivor of the Itaewon crowd crush that killed 158 people on Oct. 29.
Survived the Itaewon crowd crush
Yonhap News Agency reported that the teenager went to Itaewon on the night of the accident and lost two friends in the tragedy.
His family said he had lost consciousness in the accident and only regained it after people sprinkled water on his face.
At one point, he was in critical condition from life-threatening injuries, including a ruptured leg muscle, Korean newspaper The Dong-a Ilbo reported. He eventually recovered after treatment in the hospital.
After the accident, the high school student received two weekly sessions of psychological treatment at a hospital, and regular counselling in his school.
His uncle told The Korea Times that "the counselor said he was getting better, and he indeed appeared to have begun to recover little by little".
The teenager's final assessment report for the psychological counselling was due to be released on Wednesday (Dec. 14), two days after his body was found.
"He is assumed to have taken his own life. No autopsy will be conducted according to the wishes of his family," a police official said.
Mourning altar set up for Itaewon crush victims
Bereaved families of the Itaewon crowd crush victims had set up a mourning altar near the site of the tragedy on Wednesday (Dec. 14).
According to the Yonhap News Agency, the families accused the government of failing to take steps to honour the victims, such as setting up a memorial.
The government had previously set up memorial altars across the country after the tragedy but without any portraits or nameplates of the victims.
The mourning altar set up included portraits and nameplates of 76 victims, with the consent of their families.
If you or someone you know are in mental distress, here are some hotlines you can call to seek help, advice, or just a listening ear:
SOS 24-hour Hotline: 1-767
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute of Mental Health: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 (for primary school-aged children)
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