World Today

Officials say death toll has increased to 149 after Halloween crowd surge in Seoul


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A mass of largely younger folks celebrating Halloween festivities in Seoul grew to become trapped and crushed as the gang surged right into a slender alley, killing no less than 149 folks and injuring 150 others in South Korea‘s worst catastrophe in years.

Emergency staff and pedestrians desperately carried out CPR on folks mendacity within the streets after the crush within the capital’s leisure district of Itaewon Saturday night time.

Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan fireplace division, stated the loss of life toll may rise additional and that an unspecified quantity among the many injured had been in important situation.

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 shifting 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 gang to surge into the slender downhill alley close to the Hamilton Resort, a significant 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 wanting breath, in response to the Seoul-based Hankyoreh newspaper.

One other survivor, named Lee Chang-kyu, stated he noticed about 5 to 6 males push others earlier than one or two started falling, in response to the newspaper.

In an interview with information channel YTN, Hwang Min-hyeok, a customer to Itaewon, stated it was surprising to see rows of our bodies close to the resort. He stated emergency staff had been initially overwhelmed, leaving pedestrians struggling to manage CPR to the injured mendacity on the streets. Folks wailed beside the our bodies of their buddies, he stated.

One other survivor in his 20s stated he prevented being trampled by managing to get right into a bar whose door was open on the alley, Yonhap information company reported. A lady in her 20s surnamed Park advised Yonhap that she and others had been standing alongside the facet of the alley whereas others caught in the midst of the alley had no escape.

Choi, the hearth division chief, stated that our bodies had been being despatched to hospitals or a health club, the place bereaved relations may establish them. He stated a lot of the lifeless and injured are of their 20s.

“Horrific information from Seoul tonight,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted. “All our ideas are with these at present responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”

Jake Sullivan, the U.S. nationwide safety adviser, tweeted that reviews of the catastrophe had been “heartbreaking” and stated Washington “stands prepared to supply the Republic of Korea with any help it wants.”

The final South Korean catastrophe this lethal additionally hit younger folks the toughest. In April 2014, 304 folks, largely highschool college students, died in a ferry sinking. The sinking uncovered lax security guidelines and regulatory failures; it was partially blamed on extreme and poorly mounted cargo and a crew poorly educated for emergency conditions. Saturday’s deaths will probably draw public scrutiny of what authorities officers have completed to enhance public security requirements because the ferry catastrophe.

It was additionally Asia’s second main crushing catastrophe in a month. On Oct. 1, police in Indonesia fired tear fuel at a soccer match, inflicting a crush that killed 132 folks as spectators tried to flee.

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 staff. The Nationwide Hearth Company individually stated in a press release that officers had been nonetheless attempting to find out the precise variety of emergency sufferers.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol issued a press release calling for officers to make sure swift therapy for these injured and evaluate the security of the festivity websites.

This was the deadliest crushing catastrophe in South Korean historical past. In 2005, 11 folks had been killed and round 60 others had been injured at a pop live performance within the southern metropolis of Sangju.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Occasions, LLC.


Related Articles

Back to top button