Kepco CEO pledges to accept civil liability for wildfire damage

By Shin Ji-hye
  • Published : Apr 24, 2019 - 16:17
  • Updated : Apr 24, 2019 - 16:17

Korea Electric Power Corporation CEO Kim Jong-kap on Wednesday apologized to residents of Gangwon Province who lost their homes in the recent wildfires and said the firm would accept civil liability for the damage.

“We truly apologize to the victims as the fire started from facilities managed by Kepco,” Kim told local residents at a town office in Goseong, Gangwon Province. 

CEO Kim Jong-kap bows to local residents in a show of remorse for the recent wildfires that destroyed many of their homes. (Yonhap)

Many of their homes were destroyed in the wildfires that broke out in the Goseong and Sokcho region early this month. Last week, the National Forensic Service said the fire seemed to have started when an extra-high-voltage electric wire was blown toward the forest by strong winds and caused a spark.

“Currently, Kepco is faithfully responding to the investigation by the police. Even if Kepco is found not criminally responsible, we will (still) be civilly liable (for the damage),” he said.

Kepco said it would take appropriate measures to help the victims in cooperation with the regional government, regardless of the outcome of the investigation.

The victims, who protested with banners and placards, called for immediate compensation, saying Kepco was clearly to blame for the fire.

Police have sped up their investigation of Kepco. On Tuesday, police raided Kepco’s regional offices in Sokcho and Gangneung, which manage utility poles and power distribution centers in Wonam-ri, Toseong-myeon, where the fire started. 

By Shin Ji-hye (