A mass of largely younger folks celebrating Halloween festivities in Seoul turned trapped and crushed Saturday evening as the group surged right into a slender alley, killing at the least 149 folks and injuring 150 others in South Korea’s worst catastrophe in years.
Emergency employees and pedestrians desperately carried out CPR on folks mendacity within the streets after the crush within the capital’s leisure district of Itaewon.
Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan fireplace division, stated the dying toll might rise and that an unspecified quantity among the many injured had been in important situations following the stampede. He stated that the our bodies had been being despatched to hospitals or a gymnasium, the place bereaved members of the family might determine them. He earlier stated a lot of the lifeless and injured are of their 20s.
Not less than one U.S. citizen was injured within the stampede, the State Division instructed CBS Information in an announcement Saturday evening.
“We’re working with native authorities to find out if any extra U.S. residents had been affected and stand prepared to supply consular help,” the assertion learn.
Greater than 1,700 response personnel from throughout the nation had been deployed to the streets to assist the wounded, together with about 520 firefighters, 1,100 cops and 70 authorities employees. The Nationwide Fireplace Company individually stated in an announcement that officers had been nonetheless making an attempt to find out the precise variety of emergency sufferers.
An estimated 100,000 folks had gathered in Itaewon for the nation’s largest out of doors Halloween festivities because the pandemic started. The South Korean authorities eased COVID-19 restrictions in current months. Itaewon, close to the place the previous headquarters of U.S. army forces in South Korea operated earlier than transferring out of the capital in 2018, is an expat-friendly district recognized for its stylish bars, golf equipment and eating places.
It was not instantly clear what led the group to surge into the slender downhill alley close to the Hamilton Resort, a serious occasion spot in Seoul. One survivor stated many individuals fell and toppled each other “like dominos” after they had been being pushed by others. The survivor, surnamed Kim, stated they had been trapped for about an hour and a half earlier than being rescued, as some folks shouted “Assist me!” and others had been in need of breath, in line with the Seoul-based Hankyoreh newspaper.
One other survivor, named Lee Chang-kyu, stated he noticed about 5 to 6 males begin pushing others earlier than one or two started falling one after the other initially of the stampede, in line with the newspaper.
The stampede is the most important catastrophe since 304 folks, largely highschool college students, died in a ferry sinking in April 2014. The sinking uncovered lax security guidelines and regulatory failures because it was partially blamed on extreme and poorly fixed cargo and a crew poorly educated for emergency conditions. Friday’s stampede will doubtless trigger public criticism of presidency officers over what they’ve completed to enhance public security requirements because the ferry catastrophe.
TV footage and pictures confirmed ambulance automobiles lined up in streets amid a heavy police presence and emergency employees transferring the injured in stretchers. Emergency employees and pedestrians had been additionally seen performing CPR on folks mendacity within the streets. In a single part, paramedics had been seen checking the standing of a dozen or extra individuals who lied immobile below blue blankets.
In an interview with information channel YTN, Hwang Min-hyeok, one of many guests to Itaewon, stated it was stunning to see rows of our bodies laid down within the alley close to Hamilton Resort. He stated emergency employees had been initially overwhelmed, leaving pedestrians struggling to manage CPR to the injured mendacity on the streets. Individuals cried beside our bodies, he stated.
One other survivor in his 20s stated he averted being trampled as he fortunately bought right into a bar whose door was open on the alley, Yonhap information company reported. A lady in her 20s surnamed Park instructed Yonhap that she and others had been standing alongside the aspect of the alley whereas others had been caught within the center.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol issued an announcement calling for officers to make sure swift therapy for these injured and evaluation the protection of the festivity websites. He additionally instructed the Well being Ministry to swiftly deploy catastrophe medical help groups and safe beds in close by hospital to deal with the injured.
The Seoul Metropolitan Authorities issued emergency textual content messages urging folks within the space to swiftly return house.
“Jill and I ship our deepest condolences to the households who misplaced family members in Seoul,” President Biden stated in an announcement Saturday night. “We grieve with the folks of the Republic of Korea and ship our greatest needs for a fast restoration to all those that had been injured. The Alliance between our two international locations has by no means been extra vibrant or extra very important – and the ties between our persons are stronger than ever. America stands with the Republic of Korea throughout this tragic time.”
There have been lethal stampedes in South Korea up to now. In 2005, 11 folks had been killed and round 60 others had been injured in a pop live performance stampede within the southern metropolis of Sangju. In 1992, a teenage lady died and dozens of others had been injured throughout a stampede at a Seoul live performance by the U.S. pop group New Children on the Block.