South Koreans grieved and looked for relatives lost in the “hell-like” pandemonium that killed more than 150 people, largely young adults, at a Halloween party in Seoul.
Authorities pledged a thorough probe into what caused the mob to rush into the Itaewon alley on Saturday night. Some patients bled from their noses and lips while receiving CPR, according to witnesses.
Kim Mi Sung, a tourist officer in Itaewon, gave CPR on 10 unresponsive persons, largely ladies in witch costumes. Nine died instantly.
“I can’t believe it. Kim said, “Hell.”
Sunday night, authorities reported 153 deaths and 133 injuries. 97 women slain, or about two-thirds. At least four teens were among the fatalities, and 80% were in their 20s and 30s.
37 of the wounded are in critical condition, according to the Ministry of Interior and Safety.
Witnesses say many individuals didn’t recognize the tragedy nearby. Some in Halloween costumes sang and danced as others lay dead.
Ken Fallas, a Costa Rican architect who visited Itaewon with expat friends, filmed unconscious persons being taken out of the alley. Loud music reportedly caused chaos.
Fallas: “When we began moving ahead, we couldn’t go back.” “The music was too loud to hear anything.” I guess that’s what made things so complicated.”
At least 20 foreigners from China, Russia, Iran, and others died. Interior Ministry: one American killed.
Thousands of individuals have reported missing relatives and asked whether they were hurt or killed in the crush, authorities added.
Seoul City stated it would order crematoriums to burn more remains every day as part of efforts to encourage funerals.
Itaewon hosted the country’s largest outdoor Halloween celebration since the outbreak. Recently, South Korea lifted COVID-19 limitations.
In South Korea, children seldom go trick-or-treating, but costume parties at bars and clubs have grown popular in recent years.
Itaewon, near the old U.S. military headquarters in South Korea, is Seoul’s top Halloween attraction. Expat-friendly neighborhood has fashionable pubs, clubs, and eateries.
Witnesses claimed the streets were so packed with people and slow-moving cars that rescue services and ambulances couldn’t reach the lane near Hamilton Hotel, a Seoul party scene.
President Yoon Suk Yeol proclaimed a week of national mourning on Sunday and ordered flags to fly at half-staff. 100 stores in the Hamilton Hotel neighborhood have decided to close until Monday to limit Halloween partygoers.
Yoon said his administration would prioritize aiding the victims’ relatives, including funeral arrangements, and treating the wounded. He asked authorities to examine the accident’s cause and assess the safety of future such cultural and entertainment events.
“This is horrible. Yoon claimed the accident occurred during Halloween festivities in Seoul. “As president responsible for people’s lives and safety, I’m heartbroken.”
Yoon visited the alley after his speech. Yoon inspected the trash-filled lane and was briefed by emergency personnel.
Pope Francis expressed sympathy.
Francis remarked following Sunday’s Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square, “We pray the Risen Lord also for those — notably young people — who perished last night in Seoul”
Four Chinese, three Russians, two Iranians, one each from Vietnam, Austria, Norway, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, and the U.S. killed, the Interior Ministry stated. The four other foreigners’ nationalities are unknown.
One of the fatalities was a University of Kentucky student studying abroad in South Korea.
Local media reported 26 foreign deaths. France, Thailand, and Japan each stated one of their citizens perished in Itaewon, but South Korea’s Interior Ministry couldn’t corroborate the allegations.
The crowd rush was South Korea’s biggest accident since a ferry sinking in 2014, when 304 people perished.
Lax safety norms and regulatory shortcomings caused the sinking. Excess goods and a poorly trained crew contributed to the crash. Saturday’s killings will undoubtedly prompt widespread criticism of government efforts to enhance public safety following the boat accident.