Halloween crowd surge in Seoul leaves at least 146 dead
During Halloween celebrations in the country’s capital, Seoul, at least 146 people were killed and another 150 wounded when they were trampled by a large crowd advancing on a small road, according to South Korean authorities.
After the stampede in Itaewon on Saturday night, Choi Seong-baekome, chief of the Seoul Yongsan Fire Department, warned that the death toll could rise and that an undisclosed number of the injured were in serious condition.
Authorities said a large crowd began pushing forward in a small alley next to the Hamilton Hotel, a popular gathering place for revelers in Seoul.
HERE IS AN UPDATED NEWSLETTER. The previous report from the AP is below
AP — SEOUL, South Korea. At least 120 people were killed and another 100 were injured as they were pushed aside by a large group of people during Halloween celebrations in Seoul, according to South Korean authorities.
After the stampede in the Itaewon entertainment area on Saturday night, Choi Seong-become, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan Fire Department, warned that the death toll could rise and that an unidentified number of injured were in serious condition.
He said that 46 of the deceased, whose corpses were left in the street were moved to a local gym so officers could identify them. He claimed that 74 of the deceased were sent to hospitals.
Authorities said a large crowd began pushing forward in a small alley next to the Hamilton Hotel, a popular gathering place for revelers in Seoul. To treat the injured, more than 800 emergency responders and police officers from across the country, including all of Seoul’s personnel, were dispatched to the streets.
The exact number of emergency patients is still being calculated, according to a second release from the National Fire Service. Television video and photos showed a heavy police presence, a convoy of ambulances and an emergency team escorting the injured on stretchers.
People on the streets were seen receiving CPR from both emergency personnel and civilians. In one area, paramedics could be seen checking on a dozen or more patients who were motionless and covered in blue blankets.
Scores of people were receiving CPR on the streets of Itaewon, according to police, who blocked traffic in the area to speed up the delivery of the injured to the city’s hospitals. Urgent text messages were sent out by the Seoul Metropolitan Government asking local residents to return home.
According to previous local media reportsit is said that many people flocked to an Itaewon pub after hearing that a famous person who cannot be named had come there.
In a statement, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called on the authorities to ensure that injured persons received prompt medical attention and to assess the security of the festival sites. He further directed the Ministry of Health to immediately send teams of medical professionals for disaster relief and reserve beds in a neighboring hospital for the injured.
Following the recent lifting of COVID-19 restrictionslocal media reported that some 100,000 people took to the streets of Itaewon for the biggest Halloween celebrations since the start of the pandemic.
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