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Second Seoul Mayor May Be On Way Out Because of Bridge Collapse

November 1, 1994

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Seoul’s new mayor - whose predecessor was fired after a fatal bridge collapse - offered his own resignation Tuesday because he supervised construction of the bridge.

President Kim Young-sam was expected to accept the resignation of Woo Myung-kyu to calm mounting public criticism of the government’s handling of the Oct. 21 tragedy, which killed at least 32 people, aides said.

″Under the circumstances, I realize that I lack the ability to carry out my duties as the Seoul mayor,″ Woo told a meeting of the Seoul City Council.

Woo was in charge of the city’s road construction department, which supervised construction of the Songsu bridge, in the late 1970s.

Woo was named mayor of Seoul a day after his predecessor, Lee Won-jong, was fired in connection with the disaster. A large section of the four-lane bridge collapsed during Seoul’s morning rush hour, sending a crowded city bus and several cars plunging into the Han River.

Newspapers cited it as an example of lax government safety standards for bridges and other public projects.

Eight city officials have been arrested in connection with the disaster.

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