‘Halloween nightmare’: Witnesses recount deadly Seoul crowd crush | News

Witnesses and survivors described being trapped in the pile of corpses for more than an hour and people falling like “dominos” and being trampled on. the deadly increase of the crowd in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.

Witnesses said the fight on Saturday night occurred mainly in a narrow alley in Seoul’s Itaewon district, after a very large crowd celebrating Halloween was pushed into the downhill alley.

At least 151 people, mostly women and young men in their 20s, were killed. Those killed included 19 foreigners, according to officials. Dozens of others were injured, including at least 19 in critical condition.

It remains unclear what caused the crowds to flood into the narrow, steep alley near the Hamilton Hotel, a major party venue in Seoul. Fire officials and witnesses said the collision happened when people at the top of the steep street fell, causing people below to topple others.

Yonhap news agency quoted one survivor as continuing to push down an alley of the club downhill, leading to others screaming and falling like trolls. “I think I’ll also be crushed to death as people keep pushing and shoving without realizing someone fell down in the first place.”

The bodies of victims, believed to be in cardiac arrest, are covered with blankets in the popular Itaewon nightlife district in Seoul on October 30, 2022.
Victims’ bodies are covered with blankets in the famous Itaewon nightlife district in Seoul on October 30, 2022 [Yelim Lee/AFP]

Another survivor, a young man in his 20s identified as Kim, described the scene as a “Halloween nightmare” and said he also saw people fall.

Kim told the Hanykoreh newspaper: “I heard cries for help and saw people who couldn’t breathe. “My legs are numb,” he said.

The Korea Joong Ang Daily reported that most of the dead were found near the northwest corner of the Hamilton Hotel. A witness told the newspaper he found it through a side street near the hotel before the person died. “It’s the people who fight to leave and those who fight to get in,” he said.

Another survivor in her 20s said he avoided being trampled by entering an open-door bar in the alley, Yonhap reported, while another said she managed to get out because she had stand aside.

The woman, surnamed Park, told Yonhap: “[I] can survive when I’m on the side of the alley. It seems the people in the middle suffer the most.”

One victim’s mother, surnamed Ahn, told Yonhap that she had heard her daughter had been under a pile of people for more than an hour.

“Her boyfriend called me around midnight crying saying she was dead, that she was under a bunch of people for over an hour and he tried to pull her out but couldn’t, ‘ Ahn told Yonhap. “I rushed here after receiving his call but have not received confirmation yet.”

Dozens of rescuers, firefighters and police officers are seen on the street near the scene of the stampede in Seoul, South Korea.
Rescue workers, firefighters and policemen on the street near the scene in Seoul, South Korea, October 30, 2022 [Lee Jin-man/ AP]

According to emergency workers, the sheer number of victims quickly overwhelmed the paramedics called to the scene.

In an interview with local TV station YTN, Lee Beom-suk, a doctor who performed first aid for the victims, described passersby walking in to administer first aid.

“When I first tried CPR, there were two victims lying on the sidewalk. But the numbers exploded soon after, outnumbering the first responders on the scene,” said Lee. “Many bystanders came to give us CPR.”

“It’s hard to describe in words,” he added. “The faces of many victims are pale. I couldn’t catch their pulse or their breathing and many of them had nosebleeds. When I tried CPR, I also pumped blood out of their mouths.”

Saturday’s disaster was the deadliest disaster in South Korean history. President Yoon Yuk-seol has declare a period of national mourning and promised an investigation into what happened.

Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said it had received reports of about 355 people missing since the disaster.

Ju Young Possamai, a bartender in Itaewon, said he had been to several Halloween festivals in Korea and was shocked by the tragedy.

“Very sad to see something we never, never expected,” Possamai, 24, told AFP news agency. “It’s always crowded, but nothing like this has happened before.”


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