Halloween Horror In South Korea: In a stampede in South Korea’s capital Seoul, where a massive crowd had gathered for Halloween festivities, at least 149 people died and 150 were injured.
In narrow streets, police and firefighters were seen attempting to revive people who had gone into cardiac arrest. In Itaewon, a central district of the megacity with hundreds of shops and party spots, an estimated 1 lakh people gathered on Saturday night.
충격주의)현재 이태원 압사 사망자 발생했다는듯 pic.twitter.com/ExGTyJQQN9
— 이것저것 소식들 (@feedforyou11) October 29, 2022
October 31 marked the first Halloween after two years of muted celebrations due to Covid restrictions.
The Korea Herald reported that dozens of people fell unconscious near a hotel just before midnight local time. According to the report, firefighters received the first report of breathing difficulties around 10.30 p.m. Within an hour, the number surpassed 100.
In videos showing panic scenes, common people also attempted resuscitation by pressing the chest.
Over two hours later, news agencies PTI and AFP reported the first deaths. By 8 a.m., the number had gone from nine to 59 and then 149.
Local media reported that many of the injured were women in their 20s.
Over 140 ambulances were dispatched to the scene, a fire department official told AFP.
Hyunsu Yim, a journalist with The Korea Herald, tweeted: “Absolute scenes of chaos in Itaewon right now as the Halloween night has turned into a major safety hazard.” He also shared two photos.
“I’m seeing pictures that I don’t think it’s wise to share here, but they’re heartbreaking… Tonight will go down as one of the most tragic and sad Halloweens in American history.” he said.
The area had been crowded beyond control before the stampede, and some Twitter users had warned people not to come.
นี่คือเกือบแบบตายที่แปลว่าตายจริง แขนเกือบหัก แบบติดผนัง หน้าแม่ลอยขึ้นมาเลย นี่จะไปหาหมอแล้วเจ็บแขนเจ็บซี่โครงมาก😭 #รีวิวเกาหลี#เที่ยวเกาหลี#อิแทวอนpic.twitter.com/DFPoLphfXX
— JKL🐰 (@JKL97ML) October 29, 2022
Itaewon is not for you. A woman posted videos along with the message, “It’s death-like here… My arm almost broke.”
Just after the first reports, President Yoon Suk-yeol issued a statement: “All related ministries and agencies, including the minister of public administration and security, should promptly provide aid to the victims.”
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