At least 153 people were killed and 133 others were injured in South Korea's biggest disaster in years when a crowd of primarily young people celebrating Halloween in Seoul were trapped and crushed.
After the Saturday night congestion in Itaewon, the capital's entertainmentcenter, emergency personnel and pedestrians desperately gave CPR to victims laying in the streets.
Choi Seong-beom, chief of the Yongsan fire department in Seoul, said that the majority of those killed or injured were teenagers and adults in their 20s. Almost hundreds killed and injured in Seoul Halloween stampede.
Some of the deceased were foreigners, though their nationalities were not immediately disclosed. Given that several of the injured were in serious condition, the death toll could increase further.
News Wrap: Hundreds killed and injured in Seoul stampede
The State Department confirmed to CBS Newsin a statement on Sunday (October 30, 2022) that at least two Americans perished in the stampede. Initially reporting 150 injuries as of Sunday morning, officials later revised their estimate.
Officials from the National Fire Agency did not immediately explain why the number was lower but claimed that as rescue operations continued, emergency personnel would have had a more accurate sense of the casualties and that some of the injured would have been converted to deaths.
It was also possible that some of the people who had suffered minor wounds had gone home the previous night and were no longer included in the count.
1,700 response personnel from all over the nation, including about 520 firefighters, 1,100 police officers, and 70 government employees, were sent to the streets to aid the injured. A second statement from the National Fire Agency says that the exact number of people who needed emergency care is still being counted.
What prompted the mob to pour into the small, downhill lane close to the Hamilton Hotel, a popular Seoul nightlife destination, was not immediately apparent. One witness claimed that after being pushed by others, numerous individuals collapsed and toppled one another "like dominos."
A survivor, who went by the name of Kim, claimed they were imprisoned for nearly an hour and a half before being freed. During that time, some people yelled "Help me!" and others gasped for air.
Since 304 people, largely high school students, perished in a ferry sinking in April 2014, the stampede is the worst calamity that has occurred.
The sinking, which was partially attributed to an abundance of cargo that was improperly fastened and a crew that had not received adequate emergency training, exposed lax safety regulations and regulatory failures.
The public is likely to criticize what government officials did to try to make safety rules stricter after the boat accident.
Hundreds killed and injured in Seoul Halloween stampede. Lee Chang-kyu, another witness, claimed that at the beginning of the stampede, he saw five to six men shoving each other before one or two started to fall one by one.