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.
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.
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.
#BREAKING: Stampede in #Seoul, #SouthKorea left dozens with cardiac arrest during #Halloween Saturday night. Over a hundred thousand attended the celebrations.#SeoulStampede pic.twitter.com/y8AW5LCFgB
— Media Warrior (@MediaWarriorY) October 29, 2022
Dozens of people were transferred to nearby facilities, and the bodies of victims were transferred to multiple hospital mortuaries.
— Aman Sayyad (@journo_aman) October 29, 2022
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.
- 2 S’pore Students Found in Cambodia After Being Tricked into Staged Kidnap Scams
- Everything About Avatar: The Experience in Gardens by the Bay, Probably The Most IG-Worthy Spot in S’pore Now
- Woman Paid Over $46K Reno for Her Flat But Contractor Allegedly Just Abandoned Project
- Durian Season is Back Again & Durian Prices in S’pore Are Dropping Again
- House of Seafood Owner Claims Diner Staged Photos of Cockroach in Food & Asked for ‘Large Compensation’
Fresh grads, you don’t need any experience to earn up to $4,200 with this “secret”:
- It Turns Out That Google’s Impressive Gemini AI Video Demo is “Fake”
- 69YO Man Dies After His PMA Collided With a Motorcycle in Jurong West
- Man Who’s Caught Force-Opening MRT Doors Charged; Had Also Kicked Someone Before
- Serangoon Coffeeshop Reportedly Going to be Sold for a Whopping $40.5 Million
- Tabby Cat Went Viral After “Finishing First” in China Half Marathon
- Sa Sa is Back in Singapore, With Its First Store in Jurong Point & More to Come
- New Facebook Scam Alert: Cheap “Suitcases from SIA” Are Fake