The whole country is in shock. More than 150 people die at a Halloween celebration in Seoul – the worst catastrophe South Korea has ever experienced.
Update from October 30, 2022, 6:05 a.m .: The death toll after the Halloween celebration in South Korea is increasing. According to the Seoul Fire Department, at least 151 people died as a result of the stampede. 82 other people were injured, some seriously. According to the authorities, 19 foreigners are among the dead.
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South Korea: mass panic after Halloween celebration – hundreds dead in Seoul
According to recent reports, at least 146 people have been killed and around 150 others injured in a stampede in the South Korean capital Seoul. Many victims were trampled to death, said a fire department spokesman on Sunday night (October 30, local time). Thousands of people had crowded the narrow streets of the Itaewon neighborhood for the first Halloween celebrations since the start of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. A mass panic broke out around 10:20 p.m.
Initially, the fire department had spoken of dozens of people with cardiac arrest. Photos and videos showed people lying on the ground being cared for by rescue workers. According to the fire department, more than 140 ambulances were on site. Police officers cordoned off the scene of the accident in the popular nightlife area. President Yoon Suk Yeol ordered hospital beds to be vacated as soon as possible.
Stampede in Seoul: “People layered as if in a grave”
The South Korean news agency Yonhap quoted an eyewitness who wished to remain anonymous. “People were layered on top of each other like in a tomb,” the witness described the scenes. “Some gradually lost consciousness, while others looked dead by that point.”
Mass panic in Seoul: causes of the tragedy still unclear
The Halloween festival coming from the USA is actually celebrated on the night of October 31st to November 1st. It goes back to a Celtic custom, according to which evil spirits should be driven away at the beginning of the dark season.
President Yoon Suk-yeol chaired an emergency meeting on Sunday night (October 30). Before that, he ordered more emergency personnel to be sent to the area and hospital beds to be prepared. According to Yonhap, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who is currently visiting Europe, has canceled all scheduled meetings and announced his immediate return. The exact causes of the tragedy were initially unclear. (skr/afp/dpa)