Seoul Halloween stampede: 149 people have died

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Image Source: NPR

At least 149 people, teens and young adults in their 20s died in a collision on Saturday night in the South Korean city of Seoul. While, a large crowd celebrating Halloween poured down an alley in a popular nightlife area.

Speaking at the site, Choi Sung-beom, chief of the Yongsan Fire Station, said 65 people were hurt in the riot in Seoul’s Itaewon area.

According to the authorities, 19 injured were in severe condition and required emergency care. They said that the number of fatalities might increase.

After the nation eliminated COVID limitations and social distance, it was the first Halloween celebration in three years in Seoul. As a result, plenty of partygoers dressed up for Halloween.

As the evening wore on, some witnesses said the gathering became more rowdy and furious. The event happened at about 10:30 pm (1320 GMT).

Women in their 20s made up a large portion of the victims.

Witnesses recounted hectic situations just before the stampede, with the police presence in preparation for the Halloween celebration. High witnesses reported that the police struggled to keep the masses under control.

Moon Ju-young, 21, claimed that there were obvious indications of disturbance in the lanes before the event.

How the Seoul stampede began

The Seoul stampede jammed hundreds of people into the tight, sloping lane, crushed and immovable. As rescue personnel and police attempted to extricate them.

According to Choi, Yongsan district’s fire chief, congestion in a tiny lane probably caused all of the fatalities.

In other videos, frantic images of firefighters and bystanders tending to hundreds of victims who looked to be unconscious.

Seoul authorities and witnesses claimed that as more people poured into the crowded and tight alley. At the same time, those below them began to fall over one another due to those at the top of the diagonal street collapsing.

A lady who identified herself as the survivor’s mother claimed that her daughter and others were stuck in the tangle of people in the alley for more than an hour before they were freed.

According to a witness who spoke to Reuters, a temporary morgue had been put up in a building close by. The witness claimed that roughly 40 bodies were transported to a government building on wheeled stretchers for the identification of the victims.

On Saturday, for the Halloween, dozens of pubs and restaurants crowded. After businesses experienced a steep downturn during the pandemic. Hence, Young South Koreans and foreigners like to visit the well-liked Itaewon neighborhood.

Rescue teams sent other victims, including two foreigners to local hospitals.

World leaders express their condolences

U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife Jil offered their sympathies. In addition, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also publicly expressed his sympathies on behalf of the British government.

The government eased the existing curfews on pubs and restaurants and a cap for private parties in April. Furthermore, it suspended the need for outside masks in May.

The precise reason for the tragedy was under investigation, according to the authorities.

The tragedy is among the bloodiest to hit the nation. Since a boat catastrophe in 2014 that claimed 304 lives, mostly teenagers.

South Korean criticized the government’s reaction to the sinking of the Sewol. Consequently, many citizens reflected on safety measures in the nation. This will probably update in the aftermath of Saturday’s crush.

President Yoon Suk-yeol issued an order for a task force to gather resources. For the treatment of the injured and to begin a comprehensive inquiry into the disaster’s origin.