After Halloween celebrations in South Korea’s capital turned deadly, a crowd surge on Saturday night resulted in at least 151 deaths and 76 injuries.
Due to its diverse cuisine and nightlife, Itaewon in Seoul is a popular area for both locals and tourists. This is where the rush started.
The largest numbers seen in the area since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, estimated to number 100,000, descended on the neighbourhood to celebrate Halloween.
According to local media sites, the mass surge is thought to have happened in a small alleyway lined with pubs and restaurants off of a main thoroughfare.
Choi Seong-Beom, the head of the Yongsan fire department in Seoul, warned that the death toll might increase and that the precise number of persons in critical condition is still unknown. Young adults made up a large portion of the victims, according to local media reports.
Emergency personnel from all across the nation were sent to the area to provide medical care for the injured at a makeshift facility.
While numerous shrouded bodies lay in the roadway, images and videos from the site show first responders removing some of the dead and injured on stretchers.
The injured were to be treated, emergency workers were to be sent out, hospital beds were to be secured, and a meeting was called by President Yoon Suk Yeol. Oh Se-Hoon, the mayor of Seoul, returned home early after a trip to Europe.
The stampede on Saturday killed the most people ever recorded in a mass catastrophe in South Korea. At a pop event in the southern city of Sangju in 2005, 11 people died and more than 50 others were hurt.
This was at least this month’s second fatal crowd influx that was recorded. Early in October, 125 people perished near the stadium’s gates for an Indonesian soccer match, the majority of whom were crushed or smothered.
Even after last night’s tragedy, Itaewon’s side streets were still hopping early this morning.