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South Korean diplomat dies in fatal car plunge

Investigators rules out criminal suspicions in tragic accident

Gulf News

Manama: A South Korean diplomat in Saudi Arabia has died after his car plunged 40 metres into a valley.

Traffic authorities in the Saudi capital Riyadh said that the diplomat’s death on Wednesday was an accident and that investigators had ruled out criminal suspicions.

“The traffic command centre received a call at 5.50pm on Wednesday about a car that has fallen into the Hanifa Wadi (Valley),” the spokesman for the Riyadh Traffic Directorate said. “A patrol was dispatched immediately to the site where the officers found a 2008 silver Hyundai with diplomatic licence plates used by a diplomat working for the South Korean embassy in Saudi Arabia. The diplomat was found dead inside the car,” he said, quoted by news site Sabq.

Investigations by the relevant civil service, police and crime officers concluded that the car had fallen 40 metres into the valley, the spokesman said.

“The nearest asphalted road to the valley was at a distance of 165 metres,” he said.

In the Korean capital Seoul, a senior foreign ministry official confirmed the diplomat’s death.

“The body of the consular official was found inside his car on Wednesday,” the official said, Yonhap news agency reported.

Located in the middle of the Najd Plateau, the Hanifa Valley is a natural water drainage course for an area of over 4,000 square kilometres. The valley runs for a length of 120km and cuts through the city of Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia and South Korea established diplomatic relations in October 1962.