Expat plunges to death from Seoul overpass-turned-park

A foreigner plunged to his death from Seoul's recently-opened overpass-turned-park around midnight Monday, in an apparent suicide, police said Tuesday.
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A foreigner plunged to his death from Seoul's recently-opened overpass-turned-park around midnight Monday, in an apparent suicide, police said Tuesday.

According to police, a 32-year-old man from Kazakhstan threw himself from Seoullo 7017, the refurbished highway-turned-park, near Cheongpa-ro, west of Seoul Station.

The elevated park, which opened May 20, has 1.4 meter high safety walls erected on both sides.

According to police, there were other visitors at the park at that time of the incident.

Elevated pedestrian walkway in Seoul breathes new life into city

  • Seoul officially opened the “Seoullo 7017” to the public on May 20. The 1km-long pedestrian-only Seoullo 7017 was created on the overpass built in 1970 in an effort to regenerate underdeveloped urban spaces.
  • The name “Seoullo 7017” was suggested by its designer Joon Oh. Its meaning is a combination of both “Seoul road” and “toward Seoul,” while the number “7017” comes from the years 1970 and 2017 respectively.
  • “17” also refers to the 17 connected paths throughout the walkway as well as the height of the overpass, which is 17 meters off the ground.
  • Instead of breaking down the deteriorating Seoul Station Overpass, which had already been slated for demolition, the city government decided to transform it into a pedestrian walkway to provide citizens with more spaces to walk along as well as to revitalize the downtown of Seoul.
  • A total of 24,085 trees and 228 species of flowers are planted along the Seoullo 7017. In addition, various shops and amenities including cafés, outdoor stages, flower shops and flowerpot benches have been installed along the walkway.
  • By connecting the Seoullo 7017 to nearby tourist attractions, such as Sungnyemun Gate, Seoul Fortress Wall, Myeong-dong, and Namdaemun Market, the city government plans to have the walkway turn into a hub of activity in downtown Seoul.
  • Tempered glass windows 60cm in diameter have also been placed along three different locations, allowing pedestrians to enjoy the experience of watching trains and cars pass by beneath them.
  • The Seoullo 7017 Project is based upon the idea that “beauty cannot exist without history.” It emphasises that the first step in urban development is to preserve the memories and history of Seoul via regeneration rather than reckless development.

The citizens and police sought to dissuade the man, who was on top of the wall, from jumping.

He was taken to a nearby hospital immediately but died the next morning.

Police said they are investigating the details of the accident.

A total of 835,200 citizens visited Seoullo 7017 as of Monday.

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