Seoul, South Korea – A Halloween celebration in the South Korean capital turned deadly on Saturday night as 146 people died after being crushed by a crowd.
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Officials said 100,000 people attended the festivities in Seoul, which was the first mask-free Halloween event since the COVID-19 pandemic, the BBC reported.
Update at 3:21 PM EDT on October 29: During a press conference in Seoul on Sunday, Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan Fire Department, said the death toll had risen to at least 146 after a crowd enjoying Halloween festivities crushed revelers on a narrow street in the capital’s entertainment district, The New York Times reported.
Authorities also said at least 150 people were injured.
More than 1,700 response personnel were deployed across the country, according to The Associated Press.
Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan Fire Department, said 101 of the dead were taken to hospitals in the area, including Seoul National University Hospital, Gangdong Kyunghee University Hospital, Hanyang and Korea University Hospital, the Times reported. The other 45 were taken to a multipurpose gym near Itaewon.
Update 2:07 pm EDT October 29: The death toll continued to rise in South Korea as Seoul officials said 120 people were killed after a mob surged down a narrow street, crushing partygoers during Halloween festivities. report The Associated Press. Officials said at least 100 others were injured, according to The New York Times.
Saturday night’s incident in Seoul’s Itaewon entertainment district is South Korea’s worst peacetime disaster since 2014, when 300 people died after the Sewol ferry sank, the newspaper reported .
Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan Fire Department, said 74 of the dead have been sent to hospital, according to The Associated Press. The bodies of the remaining 46, which were on the street, were being taken to a nearby gym so workers could identify them, the news organization reported.
“There were so many people that we couldn’t move,” Song Su-yeon, 46, told the Times. “It looked like I would have died if I had fallen.”
Breaking News: At least 120 people were killed and 100 others injured after being crushed by a large Halloween crowd in Seoul on Saturday night, the city’s fire department said. https://t.co/vw4J3OHZYE
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 29, 2022
Update at 1:28 PM EDT October 29: South Korean authorities say the death toll has risen to 59 after a crowd of Halloween revelers poured down a narrow street in Seoul, crushing partygoers, The Associated Press reported. Authorities also said 150 people were injured.
According to Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan Fire Department, the death toll could rise further as emergency workers transported victims to area hospitals.
Choi said 13 of the dead were taken to area hospitals, while the bodies of the remaining 46 were still on the street, according to the AP.
Yonhap news agency cited emergency services as saying another 150 people had been injured in Seoul’s Itaewon entertainment district, the BBC reported.
Update at 1:03 PM EDT on October 29: South Korean authorities said at least nine people died after they were caught up in a group of Halloween revelers in Seoul’s Itaewon entertainment district, The Associated Press reported.
Choi Cheon-sik, an official with South Korea’s National Fire Agency, said at least 60 other people were being treated for injuries. Choi added that the death toll could rise.
Choi said the crowd began pushing near the Hamilton Hotel, a major party venue in Seoul, according to the AP.
Original report: The revelers were crushed by the large crowd advancing on a narrow street, the AP reported. It was unclear if there were any deaths.
Dozens in Halloween crowds treated for cardiac arrest in nightlife area of South Korean capital Seoul, officials say https://t.co/CGchKcDJnS
– BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) October 29, 2022
Choi Cheon-sik, an official with South Korea’s National Fire Agency, said about 100 people were injured in the Itaewon entertainment district, The Guardian reported. He added that 50 people were being treated for heart problems early Sunday, the AP reported.
Choi said the crowd began pushing near the Hamilton Hotel, a major party venue in Seoul, according to the news organization.
Video footage showed several people being treated in the street by emergency services, the BBC reported. The victims were surrounded by a large crowd.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sent a disaster medical assistance team to the area, CNN reported.
[Breaking] The nightmare enters #Itaewon. The current status is that more than 50 people have collapsed and multiple deaths are possible due to overcrowding during the Halloween festivities. Stay tuned for more information. pic.twitter.com/NhvVqnHlkl
— allkpop (@allkpop) October 29, 2022
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