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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A Stampede Leaves 149 People Dead in Seoul

Itaewon, a popular nightlife district, became a magnet for thousands of Halloween revellers

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SOUTH KOREA. Seoul: Emergency officials reported that a big throng celebrating Halloween pushed into an alley in a nightlife area of the South Korean capital Seoul on Saturday night, killing at least 149 people, mostly teens and young adults in their 20s.

In a press conference at the scene, Choi Sung-beom, head of the Yongsan Fire Station, said that an additional 65 people had been hurt in the riot in Seoul’s Itaewon area.

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According to the authorities, 19 of the injured were in serious condition and were requiring emergency care. They said that the number of fatalities could increase.

After the nation eliminated COVID limitations and social distance, it was the first Halloween celebration in Seoul in three years. The partygoers were mostly dressed in Halloween costumes and masks.

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As the evening wore on, some witnesses said the gathering became more rowdy and furious. The incident happened at about 10:30 pm.

Witnesses recounted hectic situations just before the stampede, with the police present in anticipation of the Halloween celebration occasionally struggling to keep the masses under control.

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Hundreds of people were jammed into the tight, sloping lane, crushed and immovable as emergency personnel and police attempted to extricate them, as seen in social media footage.

All of the fatalities, according to Choi, the fire chief for the Yongsan district, were probably caused by the congestion in the only small alley.

In other videos, frantic scenes of firefighters and bystanders tending to hundreds of victims who appeared to be unconscious could be seen.
Fire authorities and witnesses claimed that as more people poured into the tight alley, which was already completely crowded, individuals at the top of the steep street began to fall, knocking people below them over.

An unidentified woman who identified herself as the mother of a survivor claimed her daughter and others were trapped in the crowd of people in the alley for more than an hour before being freed.

Also Read: Indonesia Stampede: 17 Children Among the Victims

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