At Least 154 Killed In South Korea Halloween Crowd Surge

At Least 154 Killed In South Korea Halloween Crowd Surge

Authorities in South Korea are looking into the crowding incident that left at least 154 partygoers dead in Seoul as the shaken country struggles to come to grips with one of its worst-ever tragedies. While authorities work to determine how the tragic crash occurred, the nation has started a week-long time of grief.

Two US citizens are among the fatalities, making up at least 26 foreign nationals. Over a dozen embassies worldwide have acknowledged there were victims from their nations. Unknown factors may have contributed to the Saturday spike. Still, observers report that revellers were crammed into small streets in Itaewon, the capital’s entertainment centre, as people celebrated the first Halloween weekend since Covid-19 limits were abolished.

At least 150 victims, or nearly all of them, have been recognised by the police. According to the Interior and Safety Ministry of South Korea, the death toll includes 56 males and 97 women. Six kids, including one in middle school, were killed, according to the South Korean Ministry of Education, which released the information on Monday. Three teachers also passed away.

According to the ministry, there were 133 injured as of 5 p.m. local time on Sunday (4 a.m. ET), 37 of whom had severe injuries. According to Emily Farmer, a 27-year-old English teacher from Seoul who was travelling through Itaewon, “there were rows and rows of people in the street with tarps covering them.”

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The crowds on the street “overwhelmed” Farmer and her companions, so they chose to go inside a bar. After a while, reports were going around that someone had passed away and that customers were not permitted to leave. The Farmer claimed that after receiving a government alert about “a dangerous situation in the vicinity” and learning the extent of the disaster, she was allowed to leave the pub.

She remarked, “It was awful. “Not everybody died right away.” She said, “People in groups were crying.” Many victims were given CPR while removing their costumes to allow the scene’s medical personnel to revive them. Because it was so crowded, she continued, “They were still hauling people (out).” Sung Sehyun, another eyewitness, claimed that on Saturday night, the street area was crowded with Halloween partygoers, making it impossible to move about.

Suah Cho also mentioned that there was a lot of screaming and that people had started to shove and push. She eventually took a diversion and ran away to safety, although she had witnessed survivors scaling buildings. The fact that so many people were dressed up added to the uncertainty. “There was also a police officer screaming, but we really couldn’t tell (whether it was a real police officer) because so many people were dressed up,” she said.

Before the mob turned lethal, there was, according to witnesses, hardly any crowd management. People can be seen squeezed together and standing shoulder to shoulder in the congested street in social media videos and images. Crowds are commonplace in that region and among Seoul residents, who are used to crowded streets and subways in their almost 10-million-person city.

Around 10:24 p.m., when the first emergency calls started coming in, authorities hurried to the scene, but the sheer number of individuals made it impossible to locate those who needed assistance. As partygoers waited for medical assistance, compressions were applied to additional partygoers lying on the ground.

It has been verified that citizens of some nations, including the US, China, Iran, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia, Norway, and France, were among the victims. According to a statement from university president Eli Capilouto, a University of Kentucky nursing student is one of the fatalities. The junior from Northern Kentucky, Anne Gieske, spent this semester studying abroad in Seoul, according to Capilouto.

According to a representative of the Korean defence ministry, three South Korean military personnel were also among the deceased. According to Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, the South Korean government has declared a period of national mourning lasting through November 5.

Han said that all non-urgent events would be postponed, and flags would be flown at half-staff in all government buildings and diplomatic missions throughout mourning. Han stated that throughout the time of mourning, employees of government agencies and civil servants would wear ribbons as a sign of their sympathy.