Mass stampede in Seoul, South Korea: 146 dead, officials say

Police said the victims were crushed by a large crowd pushing through a narrow street during the Halloween celebrations.

SEOUL, South Korea — A crowd of mostly young people celebrating Halloween celebrations in Seoul were trapped and crushed as the crowd squeezed into a narrow alley, killing at least 146 people and injuring 150 others in South Korea’s worst disaster in years.

Rescue workers and pedestrians desperately performed CPR on people lying on the street after the crush in the capital’s Itaewon leisure district on Saturday night.

Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan Fire Department, said the death toll could continue to rise and an unspecified number of the injured are in critical condition.

An estimated 100,000 people had gathered in Itaewon for the largest outdoor Halloween celebration since the pandemic began. The South Korean government has eased COVID-19 restrictions in recent months. Known for its trendy bars, clubs and restaurants, Itaewon, near the former US Forces South Korea headquarters before it pulled out of the capital in 2018.

It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the crowds to flock to the narrow, downhill alley near the Hamilton Hotel, a major party venue in Seoul. One survivor said many people fell “like dominoes” and toppled after being pushed by others. The survivor, surnamed Kim, said they were trapped for about an hour and a half before they were rescued when some people shouted “Help me!” and others were short of breath, according to Seoul-based newspaper Hankyoreh.

Another survivor named Lee Chang-kyu said he saw about five to six men pushing others before one or two started falling, according to the newspaper.

In an interview with YTN news channel, Hwang Min-hyeok, a visitor to Itaewon, said it was shocking to see rows of dead bodies near the hotel. He said rescue workers were initially overwhelmed, leaving pedestrians struggling to revive injured people lying on the street. People wept beside the bodies of their friends, he said.

Another survivor, in his 20s, said he managed not to be trampled by managing to get into a bar with the door open in the alley, Yonhap news agency reported. A woman in her 20s, surnamed Park, told Yonhap that she and others stood at the edge of the alley while others trapped in the middle of the alley had no escape.

Choi, the fire chief, said the bodies were sent to hospitals or a gym where bereaved families could identify them. He said most of the dead and injured were in their 20s.

“Terrible news from Seoul tonight,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted. “Our thoughts are with those who are currently responding and with all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”

Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, tweeted that the reports of the disaster were “heartbreaking” and said Washington was “ready to provide the Republic of Korea with any assistance it may need.”

The latest South Korean disaster of this deadly nature also hit young people hardest. In April 2014, 304 people, mostly high school students, died in a sinking of a ferry. The sinking exposed lax safety rules and regulatory failures; It has been attributed in part to excessive and poorly fastened cargo and a crew ill-trained for emergency situations. Saturday’s deaths are likely to prompt a public scrutiny of what government officials have been doing to improve public safety standards since the ferry disaster.

It was also Asia’s second great devastating catastrophe in a month. On October 1st police in Indonesia Tear gas fired at a soccer gameresulting in a crush in which 132 people were killed as spectators tried to flee.

More than 1,700 responders from across the country were deployed to help the wounded, including about 520 firefighters, 1,100 police officers and 70 government employees. The National Fire Agency said separately in a statement that officials were still trying to determine the exact number of emergency patients.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol issued a statement urging officials to ensure swift treatment of the injured and to check the security of the festival sites.

This was the deadliest devastating disaster in South Korea’s history. In 2005, eleven people were killed and around 60 others injured at a pop concert in the southern Chinese city of Sangju. Mass stampede in Seoul, South Korea: 146 dead, officials say

Laura Coffey

World Time Todays is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button