Seoul Halloween crowd crush: What we know so far | Explainer News

At least 149 people were killed and 76 others injured in a stampede during a Halloween festival in the South Korean capital.

At least 149 people were killed in one step foot on something As the Halloween festival was taking place on a narrow street in the South Korean capital Seoul, authorities said.

At least 76 others were injured, 19 of them seriously, in crowds in the city’s Itaewon district on Saturday night.

Here’s all you need to know:

What happened?

  • At around 10:20 p.m. local time (13:20 GMT) on Saturday, a huge crowd celebrating Halloween crammed into a narrow alley in the Itaewon entertainment district.
  • Many of the casualties were trampled, officials said, as a large crowd rushed forward. Many of those injured are in serious condition and are being treated.
  • Choi Cheon-sik, an official at the National Fire Agency, said more than 400 emergency personnel and 140 ambulances had been deployed to treat the injured.
  • Police confirmed dozens of people were receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the streets, while others were taken to nearby hospitals.
Injured people are being cared for on a street in the Itaewon district of Seoul.
Injured people are attended to on a street in the Itaewon district of Seoul, after about 50 people went into cardiac arrest due to a stampede during Halloween festivities in Seoul, South Korea, October 29, 2022 [Yonhap/EPA-EFE]

Many people were killed and injured

  • At least 149 people were killed and 76 others injured in the incident. Authorities say the death toll could rise further as emergency crews continue rescue efforts.
  • “Everybody piled up like a grave. Some people gradually lost consciousness while some were already dead at the time,” Yonhap news agency quoted a witness as saying.
  • Choi Seong-beom, a fire official, said most of the victims were women and young men in their 20s.
  • The Yonhap news agency reported that the dead included two foreigners.
  • A doctor administering first aid to the victims described dire and chaotic scenes. “When I first tried CPR, there were two victims lying on the sidewalk. But the number exploded soon after, outnumbering the first responders at the scene,” Lee Beom-suk told local broadcaster YTN. “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.”
  • Several videos posted on social media appeared to show people performing CPR on victims lying on the street. Other videos emerged showing dozens of people covered by blue plastic sheets on the side of the road.


  • Al Jazeera’s Musun Kim, reporting from Seoul, said many in the city would stay up all night “with a sense of shock, wondering how this could have happened”.
  • South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol urged officials to ensure prompt treatment of the injured and review the safety of festival sites. An investigation into the cause of the stampede is underway.
  • The Seoul Metropolitan Government issued an urgent message, urging people in the area to quickly return home.
  • US President Joe Biden and his wife offered their condolences, writing: “We grieve with the people of South Korea and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to all who were injured.”
  • Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak Is called “terrible” incident. “All our thoughts are with those who are currently responding and all the Koreans at this very sad time,” he wrote on Twitter.


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