South Korea: 151 killed, over 100 injured after Halloween stampede
At least 151 people were killed and over 100 injured in a stampede in the South Korean capital Seoul. The incident happened when a huge crowd, estimated to be 100,000, gathered in Seoul's central district for Halloween festivities late on Saturday, according to the local news agency Yonhap. Most people complained of suffocation and were resuscitated by the emergency health workers, it said.
What did officials say?
According to the National Fire Agency (NFA), around 100 people were affected as the crowd surge uncontrollably on Saturday night in the Itaewon leisure district. Choi Cheon-sik, a senior official at NFA said he cannot reveal the exact number of injured persons but added that most of them suffered cardiac arrest and were being treated at nearby hospitals.
Over 100,000 gathered after two years of COVID-19 restrictions
Over 100,000 people had gathered in Itaewon, Seoul, on Saturday night to celebrate Halloween, according to The Korea Herald. The event was held after two years of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a large crowd gathered out of excitement, it said. Dozens of people became unconscious near a hotel after the stampede, prompting the dispatch of over 140 ambulances.
'Crowd control not working'
Really hoping everyone is safe in Itaewon tonight, seems to be a major incident near the station, fire brigade and police but absolutely thousands of people and crowd control isn't working.— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) October 29, 2022
Eyewitnesses narrate chaos
Notably, eyewitnesses described scenes of chaos on the streets with police and health workers giving CPR to people. "Absolute scenes of chaos in Itaewon right now as Halloween night has turned into a major safety hazard," tweeted Hyunsu Yim, a local journalist. President Yoon Suk-yeol is reportedly monitoring the situation. However, no further official details were immediately available.