Everything About the South Korea Halloween Stampede That Has Caused 151 Deaths So Far


It’s Halloween – so what’s your biggest fear?

Spiders, ghosts, clowns, dolls? The list goes on forever.

After this weekend in South Korea however, perhaps your biggest fear should be one for your life instead.

Here’s why.

At least 151 dead after Halloween Stampede

On Saturday night, South Korea’s first big Halloween celebration since the end of COVID-19 restrictions turned to tragedy.

As partygoers made their way through a narrow alley in a popular nightlife district in Seoul, at least 151 people died.

The chief of the Yongsan-gu Fire Department, Choi Seong-bum, said that it was a “presumed stampede” and that many fell, injuring at least 82.

The authorities are still investigating the cause of the incident, though officials said there were no gas leaks or fires on site when they received the first emergency calls of people being “buried” in crowds.

The deceased were mostly teenagers and young adults. Among the deceased were at least 19 foreign nationals, including people from Iran, Norway, China and Uzbekistan.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol convened an emergency meeting in the early hours of Sunday, and addressed the nation in a televised statement afterwards.

Yoon called a national period of mourning “until the handling of the accident is concluded.”

Prime Minister Han Duck-Soo later said that the mourning period would last till midnight of 5 November.

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Yoon also added that the disaster would be investigated and that measures would be put into place to ensure similar incidents never happen again.

“A tragedy that should not have happened occurred in the middle of Seoul last night on Halloween,” Yoon said. “I pray for those who died in an unexpected accident and hope that the injured will recover quickly.”

The government has also declared the district of Yongsan-ju, where Itaewon is located, a special disaster area.


The Itaewon nightclub district, immortalised by popular K-Drama hit Itaewon Class, is a warren of steep, twisted alleyways on either side of the main road – not great for dense crowds.

Witnesses said that even before the incident occurred, there was so much overcrowding that it was difficult to even move around.

The police closed off the area upon their arrival.

Videos emerging on social media

Videos emerged on social media afterwards showing people all dressed up in their Halloween costumes lying in the streets. Several were taken away on stretchers as first responders rendered aid and queues of ambulances formed.


Dozens of people were transferred to nearby facilities, and the bodies of victims were transferred to multiple hospital mortuaries.

Reports of missing friends and families

As hours went by, the Seoul city government started to receive reports of missing people as friends and families started searching for people known to be at the event that did not come home.

On Sunday, police officers scanned the area for personal belongings and pieces of identification to try and determine the final number of the injured and deceased.

More than 1,700 emergency response forces were dispatched on Saturday night, including 517 firefighters, 1,100 police officials, and about 70 government workers.

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