Seoul Stampede: At Least 151 Killed & 82 Injured After Crowd Surge To Celebrate Halloween


Itaewon (Seoul): A catastrophic stampede that occurred during late-night Halloween celebrations in Seoul’s Itaewon district may have resulted in as many as 151 fatalities and 82 injuries, according to fire officials.

Eye-witnesses present at the spot during the stampede say the disaster happened on Saturday evening in the renowned nightlife zone in the vicinity of the Hamilton Hotel after a stampede of partygoers surged into the small downhill alley.

According to media reports, tens of thousands of people were in the neighbourhood for Halloween celebrations.

Fire officials informed that 82 people were injured, 19 of them severely, and a total of 151 people—including two foreigners—had been verified killed as of early Sunday morning. However, the number of fatalities could continue to grow.

In Yongsan, which includes Itaewon, Choi Seong-beom, the head of the fire department, informed reporters that “several casualties were caused when a mass of people fell down during Halloween parties.”

The officials also noted that victims in their 20s made up the age group most impacted by the catastrophe.

Initial complaints of patients having breathing problems were made by locals in the Itaewon area in large numbers. Around 10:15 PM, the first report was made.

Dozens of victims were found on a nearby road receiving CPR from rescuers who had been sent to the spot.

The specific cause of the stampede is still unknown, however, there were rumours at the site that a large throng had gathered to watch a celebrity or that candies filled with drugs had been distributed at clubs.

Subsequently, President Yoon Suk-yeol presided over two emergency meetings shortly after the stampede and instructed officials to quickly provide first aid and treat the injured, according to the presidential office.

Yoon also gave orders to send emergency medical personnel to Itaewon and reserve beds for the victims.

Separately, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo gave instructions to staff to minimise losses to the greatest extent possible.

In the wake of the disaster, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon who was in the middle of a Europe visit decided to cut short his trip and fly back to Seoul immediately.

Around 270 missing reports have been filed in connection with the disaster as of early Sunday, according to the Seoul municipal government.

Police stated that they are making every effort to identify the victims and then contact their family members.

Meanwhile, the police department is to launch a separate investigation in connection with whether the bars or clubs in the area were complying with safety regulations or not.

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