Firefighter gets flak for leaking news of Sulli's death

SEOUL • Abusive netizens have been blamed for the death of South Korean singer-actress Sulli, whose private funeral was held on Thursday.

But who leaked the news of the discovery of the 25-year-old's body on Monday?

The blame has been pinned on a firefighter who was among a team sent to Sulli's home when her manager could not contact her.

The Gyeonggi Disaster and Safety Headquarters, which has issued an official apology, said the man - who is not identified - took a photo of the reports about the incident and forwarded it to a colleague.

The latter then made things worse by sharing the picture with other firefighters via a group chat.

At some point, the details of the tragedy popped up online.

According to allkpop portal, the authorities have expressed shame and disappointment that "internal information was leaked externally", saying the firefighters failed to uphold the highest privacy standards expected by citizens.

The slip-up brought further pain to the K-pop star's family, the authorities noted.

The fire department will re-examine its internal reporting system and take steps to avoid a repeat of the incident.

The authorities have asked those who forwarded the information, or posted it online, to own up, failing which the police will be called in to investigate, koreaboo portal reported.

The leak has alarmed netizens, with one posting: "Even in situations involving death, other people can't have any decency or follow protocol."

Meanwhile, an autopsy into Sulli's death has ruled out foul play, but results of drug and toxicology tests are still pending.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2019, with the headline Firefighter gets flak for leaking news of Sulli's death. Subscribe