SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean police are seeking involuntary manslaughter and negligence charges against 23 officials, including law enforcement officers, for the lack of security measures they say were responsible for a surge in crowds last year. past that killed nearly 160 people.

Despite anticipating a crowd of more than 100,000 on Halloween weekend, Seoul police had assigned 137 officers to the capital’s nightlife district Itaewon on the day of the crowd. Those officers focused on monitoring narcotics use and violent crime, which experts say left few resources for pedestrian safety.

Son Je-han, who led the National Police Agency’s special investigation into the incident, said on Friday that his team will now forward the case to prosecutors. Those recommended for indictment include Park Hee-young, mayor of Seoul’s Yongsan district, and former district police chief Lee Im-jae, two of the six who have been arrested.

The results of the 74-day police investigation announced by Son mostly confirmed what was already clear: that police and public officials in Yongsan failed to employ significant crowd control measures for the expected number of Halloween revelers and essentially ignored pedestrian calls made to police hotlines that warned of a growing crowd hours before the surge turned deadly on October 29.

Officials also botched their response once people began being knocked over and crushed in a narrow alleyway packed with partygoers near the Hamilton Hotel around 10 p.m.

«Inaccurate judgment of the situation, slow distribution of information about the situation, poor cooperation between related institutions, and delays in rescue operations were some of the overlapping failures that caused the large number of casualties,» Son said in a press conference in Seoul.

It is unclear whether the results of the police investigation will be enough to calm public anger and demands for government accountability as the country still struggles to cope with its worst disaster in nearly a decade.

Opposition lawmakers and some relatives of the victims have demanded investigations into higher-profile figures including Interior and Security Minister Lee Sang-min and National Police Agency Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun. who have faced calls to resign.

However, Son said the special investigation team will close its investigations of the Ministry of Interior and Security, the National Police Agency and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, saying it was difficult to establish their direct responsibility.

Some experts have called the congestion in Itaewon a «man-made disaster» that could have been avoided with fairly simple steps, such as employing more police and public workers to monitor bottleneck points, enforcing one-way pedestrian lanes direction and block narrow roads or temporarily close Itaewon subway station to prevent large numbers of people from moving in the same direction.