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S. Koreans Mourning Victims of Cave-In Assault Official : Asia: Dozens of angry relatives pummel chief administrator of Seoul district where department store collapsed. Death toll tops 450.

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<i> From Reuters</i>

A senior city official was assaulted by angry relatives Saturday when he attended a memorial service for victims of last month’s Seoul department store collapse that killed at least 458 people, witnesses said.

Cho Nam Ho, chief administrator of Seoul’s Socho district, an upscale residential area where the store is located, was kicked and punched by dozens of relatives when he was about to leave a memorial hall after attending the service.

“Cho managed to escape from the hall after about 10 minutes and received treatment for bruises at the hospital,” one witness said.

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The official death toll from the collapse of the Sampoong Department Store was 458 on Saturday, with 93 still listed as missing.

Search operations have been suspended at the site while officials search for bodies that might be among the tons of rubble removed from the site and dumped on the outskirts of Seoul.

The collapse was the latest in a string of man-made disasters in recent years that have raised questions about safety standards and embarrassed the government of President Kim Young Sam.

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