At least 146 dead, 150 injured in Halloween stampede in Seoul, South Korea
( NYPost )
At least 146 people were killed and as many as 150 more injured in a stampede during Halloween festivities in the Itaewon district of Seoul, South Korea — the first outdoor, mask-free celebration of the holiday since the 2020 pandemic, local media reported.
There were about 100,000 revelers out celebrating in the popular nightlife area, according to Yonhap News.
Videos posted online showed people in fancy costumes being pushed through the narrow streets. Some appeared to climb walls on either side in an attempt to escape the deadly crush.
Other videos from the scene show body bags, emergency workers performing CPR, and rescuers trying to pull unconscious people trapped beneath others after the fatal crowd surge.
Pictures showed people lying in the streets near Itaewon’s Hamilton hotel receiving first aid and being taken to ambulances.
Government officials sent emergency text messages urging people in the area to return home. More than 400 emergency workers and 140 vehicles were deployed.
Some celebrants were completely trapped in the elbow-to-elbow crowd, the Washington Post reported. The noise was too loud for many to call for help, the outlet said.
South Korea’s president Yoon Suk-yeol has called an emergency meeting, the BBC reported Saturday.
The Itaewon area was too crowded and it felt unsafe, some wrote on social media earlier in the evening.
Dozens of dead bodies were in the streets, Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan fire department, told reporters, noting just 13 dead bodies had been sent to the hospital.
“The area is still chaotic so we are still trying to figure out the exact number of people injured,” Moon Hyun-joo, an official at the National Fire Agency said.
At least some of the victims were foreigners, according to reports.
President Yon Suk-yeol presided over an emergency meeting with senior aides and ordered emergency medical teams to the area, his office said.
The cause of the stampede is under investigation, authorities said.