At least 151 South Koreans died and 82 were injured from being horizontally or vertically crushed during a Halloween celebration Saturday evening KST in the capital city of Seoul.
Over 100,000 locals had descended into the “narrow” streets and alleyways of the neighborhood of Itaewon that evening to celebrate Halloween for the first time since South Korea “lifted Covid restrictions such as crowd limits and face mask rules,” according to CNN.
“But the festivities descended into chaos, with photos and videos on social media showing huge crowds crammed into a narrow alley. Eyewitnesses described partygoers being packed so tightly together it was difficult to move around or even breathe,” CNN reported Sunday.
Some partygoers were horizontally crushed, which is different from a stampede. In a stampede, people are essentially run over by large crowds. In this scenario, there were so many people tightly packed that some didn’t even have enough space to breath and thus died of asphyxiation.
Others meanwhile reportedly died of cardiac arrest.
SK President announced a period of national mourning and ordered the lowering of flags after a deadly stampede killed at least 155 people, including 19 foreigners, during #Halloween celebrations in #Seoul.#SouthKorea #CardiacArrest #Itaewon #이태원 pic.twitter.com/2576DEetQ5
— Chaudhary Parvez (@ChaudharyParvez) October 30, 2022
One male survivor described the scene as a “Halloween nightmare,” as reported by Al Jazeera.
“I heard voices calling for help, and I saw people who couldn’t breathe,” he told local media, adding that he himself had been trapped in the crowd for roughly an hour and a half before being rescued.
Another survivor told local media, “People kept pushing down into a downhill club alley, resulting in other people screaming and falling down like dominos. I thought I would be crushed to death too as people kept pushing without realising there were people falling down at the start.”
A third survivor “said he avoided being trampled by managing to get into a bar whose door was open in the alley … while another said she managed to make it out alive because she was standing off to the side,” according to Al Jazeera.
“[I] could survive as I was located on the sideline of the alley. It looks like people in the middle suffered the most,” the fourth survivor, a woman, said.
One woman, a mother, said she’d heard that her daughter — who she’s thus far been unable to locate — was buried under a pile of paper for over an hour.
“Her boyfriend called me around midnight, crying, saying she was dead, that she’d been under a pile of people for over an hour and that he’d tried to pull her out but couldn’t. I rushed here after getting his call but haven’t received confirmation,” the mother told local media.
My condolences 🙏 pic.twitter.com/9NUphIfReU
— kak cik (@kakcik_MK) October 30, 2022
Local authorities reportedly received the first emergency calls of victims being “buried” in the crowds at 10:24 p.m. KST.
However, it appears the initial response was slower than expected because, according to Seoul’s interior and safety minister, Lee Sang-min, “a considerable number of police and security forces” had already been deployed elsewhere that evening to deal with protests over something.
“Meanwhile in Itaewon, the crowd had not been unusually large, he said, so only a ‘normal’ level of security forces had been deployed there,” according to CNN.
But as the extent of the calamity in Itaewon became more evident, “a massive response” was launched.
“More than 1,700 emergency response forces were dispatched on Saturday night, including 517 firefighters, 1,100 police officials, and about 70 government workers,” CNN reported.
Even this wasn’t enough.
Speaking with local media, one emergency responder described seeing passers-by rushing in to help the overwhelmed workers.
“When I first attempted CPR, there were two victims lying on the pavement. But the number exploded soon after, outnumbering first responders at the scene. Many bystanders came to help us with CPR,” he said.
“It’s hard to put in words to describe. So many victims’ faces were pale. I could not catch their pulse or breath and many of them had a bloody nose. When I tried CPR, I also pumped blood out of their mouths,” he added.
Officials in Seoul said that at least 120 people were dead and 100 others were injured after a stampede in the South Korean capital’s popular Itaewon district, where crowds had gathered to celebrate Halloween. https://t.co/auJuczo3Ll pic.twitter.com/7FXmfW8qab
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 29, 2022
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol reportedly responded to the tragedy by expressing condolences for the victims, wishing a speedy recovery to survivors, and instituting a period of national mourning.
“A tragedy that should not have happened occurred in the middle of Seoul last night on Halloween. I pray for those who died in an unexpected accident and hope that the injured will recover quickly,” he said.
The president also vowed that there will be an inestigation.
“We will have relevant ministries such as the Ministry of the Interior and Safety conduct emergency inspections not only for Halloween events but also for local festivals and thoroughly manage them so they are conducted in an orderly and safe manner,” he said.
DONATE TO BIZPAC REVIEW
Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!
- Biden snubs Netanyahu thus far after big election win, but call expected ‘soon’ - November 6, 2022
- RNC chair flips CNN ‘election denier’ narrative: Dems are ‘inflation deniers… crime deniers’ - November 6, 2022
- Tudor Dixon goes scorched earth on Stephen Colbert after ‘apology’ for doubting Muslim parent is real - November 6, 2022
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.