Halloween Night Party Crowd Kills 151 In South Korea

| Updated: 30 October, 2022 10:20 am IST

It was supposed to be the country’s first big celebration post-COVID-19. But it turned out to be one big tragedy as at least 151 people, mostly youngsters, died due to a stampede in Seoul’s Itaewon district in South Korea late on Saturday night.

The youths assembled in the narrow nightlife attraction spot for Halloween parties on a deadly night, which resulted in overcrowding and later the stampede.

According to South Korean authorities, around 82 people were injured. The injured include foreign nationals from Iran, Norway, China and Uzbekistan.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called an emergency meeting in the early hours of Sunday, and later visited the scene to get a stock of the situation.

“A tragedy that should not have happened occurred in the middle of Seoul last night on Halloween,” Yoon said in his address to the nation.

“I pray for those who died in an unexpected accident and hope that the injured will recover quickly,” he said while calling for a national period of mourning “until the handling of the accident is concluded”.

According to various media reports, witnesses said that even before the chaos broke out, partygoers were packed so tightly in the narrow streets that it was difficult to move around.

Video posted to social media showed people performing compressions on other partygoers lying on the ground as they waited for medical help.

Yonhap News Agency reported that some people had suffered from “cardiac arrest,” attributing the statement to fire authorities. Authorities also dismissed the earlier report of a gas leak.

More than 1,700 members, including 517 firefighters, 1,100 police officials and along with 70 government workers, of the Korean emergency response force were dispatched in search and rescue operations.

Leaders from across the globe sent their condolences to South Korea and those affected by the disaster.

“Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in Seoul,” US President Joe Biden wrote in a statement. “We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea and send our best wishes for a quick recovery to all those who were injured.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”

In a tweet written in French and Korean, President Emmanuel Macron said “France is by your side.”


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