regular-article-logo Tuesday, 06 June 2023

South Korea: Dozens in 'cardiac arrest' after Halloween stampede in Seoul

Scores of people celebrating Halloween in the South Korean capital have been reportedly injured during a crowd surge

Published 29.10.22, 10:49 PM
Rescue workers and firefighters work on the scene of a crushing accident in Seoul, South Korea

Rescue workers and firefighters work on the scene of a crushing accident in Seoul, South Korea Deutsche Welle

A stampede on Saturday night in the South Korean capital of Seoul has injured scores of people, emergency services said. An unspecified number of people are also feared dead.

The dangerous surge took place in the city's Itaewon district, where Halloween festivities were taking place.


What we know so far

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that 50 people were suffering "cardiac arrest" following the crush.

Emergency services received over 80 calls from people in the Itaewon district who said they were having trouble breathing, Yonhap reported.

Choi Cheon-sik, an official from South Korea's National Fire Agency, said the crush is believed to have happened when a crowd pushed forward in a narrow alley near Hamilton Hotel. The area is a major party spot in Seoul.

Over 400 emergency workers from across the country have been deployed to the capital to help treat those who were injured. Videos on social media showed fire fighters and pedestrians performing CPR on people lying in the streets.

Photos from the scene appeared to show several bodies covered with sheets, although no official death toll has been released. South Korean officials typically wait until the deaths have been declared at a hospital to release a death toll.

Local media estimated that 100,000 people were in the streets of Itaewon on Saturday night for the Halloween parties. The festivities were the largest they had been in years after South Korea eased its coronavirus restrictions in recent months.

How have officials responded?

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called for those who were injured to be quickly treated and also urged officials to review the safety protocols for the Halloween festivity sites.

The president also ordered the Health Ministry to deploy disaster medical assistance teams, as well as secure beds in hospitals for those who were injured.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who is on an an official visit to Europe, cancelled the rest of his trip and is returning home in light of the latest news.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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