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Fact Check: Did BTS ARMY Really Cause A False Alarm About A Subway Attack?


On July 6, 2023, a train on Line 9 of Seoul’s subway system was evacuated quickly after suspicions of irregularities raised. The train was approaching the Sinnonhyun station, where many disembarked and authorities were dispatched.

People disembarking. | @nana_yen_/Twitter

Two possible causes were quickly pointed out online.

1. Screams by fans on the subway

The first involved the mass of BTS fans traveling back from a concert by Suga. It was claimed that fans had been occupying most of the subway at that hour, and when their idol went on live stream to show off a tattoo, excited screaming ensued. The screaming allegedly set off a false alarm amongst other subway passengers. This comes at a time where knife attacks in public are rampant, terrorizing the country.

A Twitter user, @tom7890_, claimed to have been on site, providing screenshots with their calls to the police. They claimed that a foreigner next to them had screamed, causing panic. They also have allegedly provided the same witness statement to the police.

It’s not a chemical attack or a knife attack at the Sinnonhyun station, so I hope that people will stop creating fear due to false information any longer.

The foreigner next to me was watching a video, and suddenly screamed, causing the situation in the subway carriage to complicate. People misunderstood and ran away.

I gave my witness statement to the police too.

Of course, I hope that everyone can be careful and travel with your earphones out. Stay healthy.

— tom7890

They also provided some photos of the aftermath of the situation. Belongings were left behind in urgency, and the police were also dispatched.

| @tom7890_/Twitter

Later on, a video of a group of fans screaming aboard an unspecified train went viral on Twitter. The video was posted by @egcanzina, who had screamed upon seeing the tattoo reveal. The video was soon deleted after @egcanzina realized the trouble that they had caused online, but was reposted by user @meeoee88. User @meeoee88 was not on site during the matter.

It wasn’t a knife attack at Sinnonhyun, but apparently fans returning home after BTS Suga’s concert were screaming because he revealed his tattoo on live stream…

— meeoee88

So, was the issue really caused by BTS fans? @egcanzina has already apologized for their behavior on public transport. They also claim not to have been on the train that was evacuated.

Apology and explanation by @egcanzina. | @egcanzina/Twitter

Even if their video had been misconstrued by @meeoee88, witnesses on site still claim that the screaming was due to fans watching the live stream.

Another also pointed out that news sites reported the time that reports began streaming in to the police and fire stations were around 8.34 to 8.36pm. At the same time, Suga’s tattoo was revealed around 8.33pm. The extremely close timing has people suspecting that the screams led to misunderstanding.

The Sinnonhyun station incident. Suga’s tattoo was revealed at around 8.33pm. Fans screamed. Reports went in to the police and fire stations at around 8.34pm.

Did the passengers hear the screams and begin thinking something is weird, perhaps due to smelling the fans’ sweat? Feels like this spread and was misconstrued as a chemical threat.

— lll619180

2. Chemical gas threat

The second possible cause was a chemical threat that was reported by witnesses on site. Some people at the station claimed to smell a strange scent, with some even feeling strange after sniffing it. According to SBS News, 7 people were injured in the disarray as people tried to escape.

The fire department, who usually handles gas threats in South Korea, were quickly dispatched to the scene. Twitter user @nana_yen_, who was on site, confirmed with the dispatched firefighters that there were indeed reports of strange smells.

I think the issue on the fast train on Line 9 isn’t a knife attack. They said it was due to reports about a strange scent in the carriage. This was confirmed by the firefighters. They’re gonna stop the running of the fast train on Line 9.

— nana_yen_

Later on, it was confirmed by the fire department that no abnormalities were detected.

3. The verdict

An ARMY who had been on site, and personally made a police report about sudden panic and disarray on Line 9 clarified the situation. Although they did not state the reason for the initial panic, they claimed that it was as a few people started to panic, that everyone else began escaping. In the rush, that was when people began to get hurt.

To explain the situation, in the subway, the people in the carriages up front seemed to be shocked at something, and they started running all of a sudden. The people in the middle, including me, didn’t know what was going on, but since people were running so afraid lay, we also ran too. From the POV of carriage number 3-3 where I was at, I saw three people fall down. I think there was more behind. People threw their bags away and started running. I thought this was like Train To Busan or something.

— Lovesy92

It is clear that the injuries were caused by general panic and disarray, as people rushed to leave the area. As for the initial cause, both seem plausible due to witness reports. Korean news outlet, News1, also reported that both “weapon threats” and “chemical threats” were reported to the police and fire stations during the incident.

“Reports of gas leaks and brandishing of weaponry were reported on Line 9’s subway, resulting in commotion and the dispatch of the police and firemen.” | News1

Hence, it is highly possible that both causes resulted in the commotion. That being said, rather than blame the panicked citizens, or the fans, extra care should be taken during this time of unrest in South Korea.


Content Source: www.koreaboo.com


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