At least 151 killed, 82 injured at Halloween festivities in Seoul

A group of mostly young people who were celebrating Halloween in Seoul were trapped and crushed as a crowd pushed into a narrow alley, killing at least 151 people and injuring 82 in South Korea’s worst disaster in years.

Paramedics and pedestrians frantically performed CPR on people lying on the streets after being crushed in the capital’s Itaewon leisure district on Saturday night.

Most of the casualties were in their teens and 20s, said Choi Sung-bum, chief of the Seoul Yongsan Fire Department. He said the dead included 19 foreign nationals, whose nationalities were not immediately disclosed, adding to the death toll as 19 of his wounded were in critical condition. There is a possibility.

The State Department issued a statement to CBS News on Saturday night, saying at least one US citizen was injured in the stampede.

“We are working with local governments to determine if there are other US citizens affected and stand ready to provide consular assistance,” the statement said.

Officials initially lowered the tally after saying 150 people had been injured as of Sunday morning.

At least 149 dead, 150 injured at Seoul Halloween festivities
Police stand guard near an alley where a crowd occurred the night before Halloween celebrations around Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea, October 30, 2022. At least 149 people have died.

Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

More than 1,700 responders from across the country, including approximately 520 firefighters, 1,100 police officers and 70 government workers, were deployed to the streets to help the injured. In a separate statement, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said officials were still trying to determine the exact number of emergency patients.

An estimated 100,000 people have flocked to Itaewon for the country’s largest outdoor Halloween festival since the pandemic began. The South Korean government has eased restrictions on his COVID-19 in recent months. Itaewon is a foreigner-friendly neighborhood known for its trendy bars, clubs and restaurants, located near the site of the former USFK headquarters before it moved out of the capital in 2018.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the crowd had flooded the narrow downhill alleys near the Hamilton Hotel, Seoul’s main party spot. People said they fell and fell “like dominoes.” Kim, who survived, said he was trapped for about an hour and a half before being rescued by someone yelling “Help!” Others were out of breath, according to the Seoul-based Hankyoreh newspaper.

Another survivor, Lee Chang-gyu, said about five to six men began pushing others at the start of the stampede before one or two began to fall one by one, according to the newspaper. He said he saw

The stampede is the deadliest disaster since April 2014, when a ferry sank, killing 304 people, mostly high school students. The sinking exposed lax safety rules and regulatory failures, partly blamed on excessive and poorly secured cargo and inadequate crew training. Emergency. Friday’s stampede is likely to spark public criticism of government officials for what they have done to improve public safety standards since the ferry accident.

Stampede during Halloween Festival in Seoul
A partygoer walks by an ambulance at the site of a crowd of people injured during the Halloween festival in Seoul, South Korea on October 29, 2022.

Hong Ji Kim / Reuters

Television footage and photos showed ambulances lining the streets lined with police, paramedics carrying the wounded on stretchers. He was also seen performing CPR on people lying on the street by paramedics and pedestrians. In one section, paramedics were seen checking the condition of a dozen people lying motionless under blue blankets.

In an interview with news channel YTN, Hwang Min-hyuk, who visited Itaewon, said he was shocked to see rows of bodies lying in the alleys near the Hamilton Hotel. He said paramedics were initially overwhelmed and pedestrians struggled to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the wounded lying in the street. People cried by the bodies, he said.

Another survivor, in her 20s, said she was lucky enough to reach a bar in an alley where the door was open, thus avoiding being trampled, according to Yonhap News. She and the others stood on the side of an alleyway, with the others sandwiched in the middle, she said.

Rescuers and firefighters work at the site of dozens injured in a storm during a Halloween festival in Seoul
Rescue teams and firefighters work at the scene where dozens were injured during the Halloween festival in Seoul, South Korea, October 30, 2022.

Yonhap News / Reuters

South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol issued a statement urging authorities to ensure prompt medical treatment of the injured and the safety of the festival venue. He also instructed the Ministry of Health to quickly deploy disaster medical assistance teams and reserve beds in nearby hospitals to treat the injured.

The city of Seoul issued an emergency text message urging people in the area to return home immediately.

“Jill and I extend our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in Seoul,” President Biden said in a statement Saturday night. I hope that the alliance between our two nations is more vibrant and dynamic than ever before, and the bonds between our peoples are stronger than ever, and the United States stands by the Republic of Korea during this tragic time.”

In the past, there was a stampede that caused deaths in South Korea. In 2005, a flood of pop concerts in the southern city of Sanju killed 11 people and injured around 60 others. In 1992, a teenage girl died and dozens were injured at a concert in Seoul by American pop group New Kids on the Block. At least 151 killed, 82 injured at Halloween festivities in Seoul

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