1 dead, over 50 injured as car crashes into Gongju building

August 15, 2014

The car drove through a pedestrian passage outside a religious training institute in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, killing a 10-year-old child and injuring more than 50 people. The driver claims the car suddenly drove toward the crowd with a roar and she couldn’t stop it. (Yonhap)

A 10-year-old girl was killed and 50 others were injured in a car accident at a religious training institute in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province, Friday.

An SM7 sedan, driven by a woman surnamed Kim, entered a pedestrian-only area just outside the entrance to the building, where people were gathered for a Bible seminar.

The driver said her car had accelerated spontaneously while she was parking and that she had tried to stop, according to police. Reports quoted her as saying the car “went crazy” and the brakes failed.

The police said the vehicle had traveled almost 20 meters through the crowded passageway before it stopped.

Police said the injured included several young children participating in the seminar. Some of the injuries were serious.

The victims are being treated at five different hospitals nearby.

The institute is affiliated with the religious sect Life Word Mission, which separated from the Salvation Sect in 1982. Deceased Sewol ferry owner Yoo Byung-eun was one of the Salvation Sect’s leaders.

The Life Word Mission says it has nothing to do with Yoo or the companies he owned, which are under investigation in connection with the April 16 Sewol ferry disaster.