Taxi driver burns himself to death in his cab in South Korea

Taxi driver burns himself to death in his cab in South Korea in protest over new ‘Uber-like’ app

  • The 57-year-old doused himself in fuel outside the National Assembly in Seoul
  • The taxi union boss was rushed to hospital but died of his catastrophic burns 
  • An Uber-like ride sharing app has been granted approval to widespread protest
  • Cabbies have taken to the streets because they think it threatens their livelihood 

A South Korean taxi driver poured fuel over his body before setting himself alight inside his cab outside parliament in the city of Seoul, Korea.

The 57-year-old committed self-immolation on Monday in protest of an Uber-like ride-sharing service being introduced by the country’s largest mobile chat app, Kakao.

Named only as Choi, the union leader for the Seoul branch of his firm was rushed to hospital but died of the horrific burns.

Choi had told another taxi driver he wanted to set himself on fire ‘because of the Kakao carpool’, Yonhap news agency reported. 

The app, which is now available on Google’s Play Store, will go into operation next week after the country’s largest chat app Kakao received approval for their latest venture


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The National Assembly building in Seoul close to where the taxi driver parked up and burned himself to death

In recent months tens of thousands of taxi drivers have held mass rallies in Seoul to condemn the upcoming car-pooling service

According to Chosun, security officers from the parliament rushed to the car, breaking the window and using fire extinguishers to try and save Choi.

South Korean taxi drivers have angrily protested against the car-pooling service created by KakaoTalk, saying it would threaten their jobs and livelihoods.

US giant Uber has only a minimal presence in the country, offering only taxi and licensed-hire vehicle hailing after closing its main ride-sharing service in 2015 in the face of an extensive backlash from drivers.

Kakao is used by more than 80 percent of South Koreans, and in recent months tens of thousands of drivers have held mass rallies in Seoul to condemn its upcoming car-pooling service, which is due to launch next week.

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