South Korea: At least 151 killed in stampede at Halloween celebrations in Seoul

At least 151 personalities died, including 19 foreigners, on Saturday in a stampede of thousands of personalities gathered in the narrow streets of a neighborhood in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, to celebrate Halloween

The crowd and stampede occurred in the popular capital district of Itaewon, where media places indicate that up to 100,000 personalities arrived on Saturday night, filling its narrow alleys and winding streets.

Witnesses reported how people tried to leave the suffocating crowd, piling on top of each other as paramedics, overwhelmed by the number of casualties, begged bystanders to help them provide first aid.

” There were so many people jostling, I was trapped in the first crowd and at first I couldn’t get out,” Jeon Ga-eul, 30, told AFP. “It felt like I was going to occur an accident”.

The d The fire department told AFP that at least 151 personalities, including 19 foreigners, died in the stampede that occurred around 10:00 p.m.(13 H00 GMT).

Choi Seong-beom, from the fire department, explained that “the high number of victims was due to many being trampled during the Halloween event” and said that the death toll could increase.

Images from AFP from the site showed numerous bodies lying on the street covered by improvised blankets or shrouds, while rescuers in orange vests loaded corpses onto stretchers to take them to ambulances. Some were gradually losing consciousness and others seemed dead at the time,” a witness told Yonhap news agency.

” It shouldn’t have happened”

In an interview with the regional network YTN, Lee Beom-suk, a The doctor who treated the victims described the scenes of tragedy and chaos.

” When I first tried to help, there were two victims lying on the pavement. But the number skyrocketed soon after, overwhelming the rescuers at the site,” Lee said. “Many passers-by came to help us.” The faces of so many victims were pale. I couldn’t feel their pulse or breathing and many of them had a bloody nose.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol declared on Sunday that the fatal mishap “should not have happened.” .

“In the center of Seoul, a tragedy and a disaster occurred that should not have occurred,” Yoon said in a message to the country, in which he promised to “investigate thoroughly” what happened to ensure that it does not happen again.

Twitter user @janelles_story shared a video that she claims captures scenes from Itaewon shortly before the start of the stampede, when hundreds of personalities in disguise they appear in a narrow alley full of bars and cafes.

The crowd seems quiet at first, but then the commotion begins, and personalities begin to push each other. a female voice says in English “shit, shit”, followed by “My God, my God”.

In other video images you can see about 20 bodies covered cough trick blankets while the police cordon off the area.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-hoon, was in Europe and decided to return to South Korea, according to Yonhap

For his part, US President Joe Biden said in a statement that “we are in mourning with the people of the Republic of Korea and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to all those who were injured”.

This is the first time that Halloween has been celebrated in the Asian country since the start of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

( AFP)

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