Official Say Seoul Stampede Leaves At Least 149 Dead, 150 Injured
SEOUL – Officials said at least 149 people were killed and 150 others were injured during a Halloween party in Seoul’s Itaewon area.
Emergency officials reported that a big throng celebrating Halloween surged into an alley in a nightlife area of the South Korean capital Seoul on Saturday night, killing at least 149 people, mostly teens and young adults in their 20s.
In a briefing at the scene, Choi Sung-beom, head of the Yongsan Fire Station, said that an additional 65 people had been hurt in the melee in Seoul’s Itaewon district. According to the authorities, 19 of the injured were in serious condition and were receiving emergency care. They said that the death toll could rise.
After South Korea lifted COVID restrictions and social distancing, it was the first Halloween celebration in Seoul in three years. The partygoers were mostly dressed in Halloween costumes and masks.
As the evening deepened, some witnesses said the gathering became more unruly and agitated. The incident happened at about 10:30 pm. According to Choi, many of the victims were young women in their twenties.
Witnesses recounted chaotic scenes just prior to the stampede, with the police presence in anticipation of the Halloween celebration occasionally struggling to keep the masses under control.
Moon Ju-young, 21, said that before to the incident, there were obvious signs of trouble in the alleys. As seen in social media footage, hundreds of people were packed in the tight, sloping lane, crushed and immovable as emergency personnel and police attempted to pull them free.
All of the fatalities, according to Choi, the fire chief for the Yongsan district, were probably caused by the congestion in the only small alley.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT – At least 149 people, mostly teenagers and young adults in their 20s, were killed in South Korea when a crowd celebrating Halloween surged into an alley in a night-life area of Seoul https://t.co/ZBB3cKhxO5 pic.twitter.com/evlVibGuUw
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 29, 2022
In other footage, frantic scenes of firefighters and citizens tending to hundreds of victims who appeared to be unconscious. Fire authorities and witnesses claimed that as more people poured into the tight alley, which was already completely crowded, individuals at the top of the steep street began to fall, knocking people below them over.
The exact cause of the incident was under investigation, according to the authorities. The tragedy is among the deadliest to hit the nation since a boat disaster in 2014 that claimed 304 lives, mostly teenagers.
seeing the no of ppl doing cpr on so many bodies at the same time is so horrific & heartbreaking..itaewon stampede really is a grim reminder of how huge crowds in tight spaces can turn deadly due to crowd crush resulting in cardiac arrest from asphyxiation pic.twitter.com/x463DNmQCQ
— sophiechanelala 💜해찬☀️haechan🌻 (@sophiechanelala) October 29, 2022
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