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Live Video: South Korean capital Halloween crush kills over hundred, injures over 100

On Saturday evening there was a Halloween crush in Itaewon area in Seoul, South Korea. Thousands had gathered in the popular nightlife area in the capital to celebrate. This was the first Halloween that was celebrated in the nation without pandemic restrictions. However, there was a crowd crush, for no apparent reason, in a narrow sloped alley leading to 154 deaths and 133 injured, most of whom were young.

The Seoul Metropolitan Agency reported the death and injury figures. Yonhap news agency said that 153 of those who died in the Halloween crush have been identified and their families have been notified. The South Korean government said that 20 foreign nationals had died in the crush. Two of them have been confirmed as U.S. citizens. The fire service said that most of the victims who died were teenagers or adults in their twenties.

Although the reason of the surge in the nightlife district remains unclear, witnesses said that partygoers had been packed tightly in the narrow streets. The popular Seoul hotspot Itaewon is filled with night clubs, bars and restaurants and has been featured in K Pop videos as well as K dramas.

President Yoon Suk-yeol declared a mourning period in the nation and also said that the Itaewon district had been classified as a disaster zone. The district was popular for having scores of bars, clubs restaurants and nightlife in its narrow alleys and streets and was beginning to see some economic recovery after the pandemic.

After years of restrictions due to the pandemic, the youth in the nation dressed up in Halloween costumes to party in the popular hotspot. Parties often spilled into the narrow streets and alleys in the past but this crush is one among the worst disasters that has taken place in South Korea. It is also one of the worst stampedes globally, in decades.

As the events took place after pandemic restrictions such as masks and social distancing were lifted, witnesses said that the crowds were becoming unruly and police were unable to control the large numbers before the 10.20 p.m. stampede. The Halloween crush took place in a sloped alley which reportedly had 10 times its normal crowd according to a witness.

President Joe Biden and other international leaders have offered their condolences.


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