South Korea: President Yoon declares mourning period after Halloween crush kills 151

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol declared a interval of nationwide mourning on Sunday after a Halloween crush killed some 151 people in a packed nightlife space in Seoul.

Yoon expressed condolences to the victims, principally youngsters and folks of their 20s, and his needs for a speedy restoration to the injured.

“That is actually tragic,” he mentioned in an announcement. “A tragedy and catastrophe that ought to not have occurred came about within the coronary heart of Seoul final night time.”

An enormous crowd celebrating within the standard Itaewon district surged into an alley on Saturday night time, emergency officers mentioned, including the demise toll may rise.

Choi Sung-beom, head of the Yongsan Hearth Station, mentioned 151 deaths had been confirmed, together with 19 foreigners. He advised a briefing on the scene 82 folks have been injured, 19 of them severely.

Cops work on the scene of a deadly crowd surge, in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. (AP)

It was the primary Halloween occasion in Seoul in three years after the nation lifted COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing. Lots of the partygoers have been carrying masks and Halloween costumes.

Some witnesses described the gang changing into more and more unruly and agitated because the night deepened. The incident came about at about 10:20 p.m. (1320 GMT).

“A variety of folks fell throughout a Halloween pageant, and we have now numerous casualties,” Choi mentioned. Lots of these killed have been close to a nightclub.

Lots of the victims have been girls of their 20s, whereas the foreigners killed included folks from China, Iran, Uzbekistan and Norway, Choi mentioned.

Witnesses described chaos moments earlier than the stampede, with the police available in anticipation of the Halloween occasion at instances having bother sustaining management of the crowds.

Moon Ju-young, 21, mentioned there have been clear indicators of bother within the alleys earlier than the incident. “It was no less than greater than 10 instances crowded than typical,” he advised Reuters.

Rescue employees and firefighters attempt to assist injured folks close to the scene of a crowd surge in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. (AP)

Social media footage confirmed a whole lot of individuals packed within the slender, sloped alley crushed and motionless as emergency officers and police tried to drag them to free.

Choi, the Yongsan district fireplace chief, mentioned all of the deaths have been probably from the crush within the single slender alley.

Hearth officers and witnesses mentioned folks continued to pour into the alley that was already packed wall-to-wall, when these on the prime of the sloped road fell, sending folks beneath them toppling over others.

One lady mentioned her daughter, pulled from the crush of individuals, survived after being trapped for greater than an hour.

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