South Korea tragedy at Halloween event
Sawako Utsumi and Sawako Uchida
Modern Tokyo Times
A tragic Halloween event in Seoul killed at least 149 people. The majority of the dead are young adults to people in their 20s. Therefore, the harrowing scenes in the aftermath have left a nation in mourning.
In the previous two years, the coronavirus (Covid-19) had shut down Halloween celebrations on a grand scale. Hence, the younger generation was looking forward to a night of amusement, fun, and partying -while dressed up for the occasion.
Reuters reports, “Witnesses described chaotic scenes moments before the stampede, with the police on hand in anticipation of the Halloween event at times having trouble maintaining control of the crowds.”
The BBC says, “Videos from Seoul’s Itaewon district show body bags on the streets, emergency workers performing CPR, and rescuers trying to pull people trapped beneath others.”
The district of Itaewon is known for young people and foreign nationals enjoying the area. Thus Itaewon is dotted with packed restaurants, busy bars, and other angles to the nightlife scene.
The Korean Herald reports, “At least 149 people died and more than 78 were injured in a crowd crush in Itaewon, Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, according to fire authorities at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday. The fire department began to receive reports of patients having difficulty breathing at 10:22 p.m. on Saturday.”
Over 100,000 people attended the Halloween celebrations in a confined space – in parts of the area. Hence, people were crushed to death when a stampede led to the ensuing mayhem.
President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea said, “All related ministries and agencies, led by the minister of public administration and security, should make every effort to promptly provide aid to the victims.”
The death toll is likely to increase further.
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