South Korea: 146 dead and hundreds of injured crushed in the crowd

South Korea: 146 dead and hundreds of injured crushed in the crowd

At least 146 people died and 150 were injured in Seoul due to a mob that started during the Halloween party. Hundreds of rescuers on the spot. Death toll still provisional.

A Halloween party held in a neighborhood of Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has turned into a tragedy. Dozens of people died after being crushed in a crowd that formed in a small street in the Itaewon area.

According to what was reported by the rescue units, 150 people were injured after being overwhelmed by the crowd and it is feared that there may be several victims: the local media speak of at least 146, but the toll could increase. Most of the victims were in their 20s. Videos published on social networks, in fact, show several deaths next to body bags.

About 100,000 people were reportedly attending the party for what should have been the first outdoor mask-free Halloween party since the outbreak of the pandemic. BBC correspondent Hosu Lee said he saw “a lot of medical personnel, a lot of ambulances, were taking the bodies away one by one”. The reporter added that he saw a number of bodies covered in blue sheets, along with a large deployment of law enforcement.

Choi Cheon-sik, an official of the South Korean National Fire Agency, said more than 400 rescuers intervened on the spot and further aid was called in from other cities across the country. The police explained that dozens of people were rescued after ending up in cardiac arrest, and underwent cardio-pulmonary resuscitation operations directly on the street, while others were transported to hospitals near the site of the tragedy.

The South Korean authorities, at the moment, have not provided more precise information on the exact causes of the tragedy. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called on rescuers to “ensure swift treatment for the injured and review the safety of the party venues”, asking the Ministry of Health to immediately deploy specialized medical assistance teams in case of disasters.