Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon cut short his trip to Europe and was on his way back home after the deadly crush at the Itaewon district that killed 149 people during Halloween festivities, his office said on Sunday.
Oh had been on an 11-day trip since October 21 that took him to major cities in France, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands for visits to key city development sites and a global meeting of Olympic host cities.
While in Rotterdam, Oh was briefed over the phone by the chief of Seoul’s fire department on the Itaewon accident and decided to cut his trip short and return home, Yonhap news agency reported.
He also instructed his city officials over the phone to set up an emergency headquarters to deal with the aftermath and do their best in handling the case swiftly, according to his office.
Oh was initially set to return on Monday.