Disasters & Accidents

Stampede at Halloween event in Seoul leaves 146 dead

Seoul, Oct 30 (EFE).- The death toll from a stampede during Halloween celebrations in the center of Seoul stands at 146 and looks likely to rise, authorities said Sunday.

Choi Seong-beom, the fire chief in Seoul’s Yongsan district, which includes the Itaewon neighborhood where the tragedy unfolded, told a press conference that an unspecified number of the injured were in critical condition.

“Of the 100 injured, there is (a) high possibility of more deaths,” an official with the National Fire Agency said.

The agency said that most of the casualties were people in their 20s.

The human stampede took place at 10.22pm Saturday near the Hamilton Hotel, in front of the metro station in Itaewon, an area of bars, restaurants and nightclubs that hosts an annual Halloween festival.

This year’s event was the first since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic at which masks were not required and South Korean media reported that turnout was massive.

Located near the headquarters of United States military forces in South Korea, Itaewon is known as the capital’s most international neighborhood.

Videos circulating on social media show emergency service workers carrying out resuscitation efforts on dozens of people collapsed on the ground.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered an emergency operation to aid those affected and more than 800 first responders were deployed to the scene. EFE asb/jt/dr

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