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Halloween Horror: More than 150 die in Itaewon crowd crush

Korea has started a week-long period of mourning

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 31 Okt 2022

Partygoers packed tightly into Itaewon, Korea’s narrow nightlife district streets to celebrate the first Halloween outside since COVID-19 canceled events for the past two years. Tragedy then struck as 154 people got crushed in the crowd and died, becoming one of Korea’s worst-ever disasters.

56 men and 97 women passed away as crowds surged causing people to panic and start pushing and shoving. Soon, people were passing out and getting trampled in the mayhem. The first emergency calls were received at 10:24 p.m. but medics had trouble getting in to help because of the sheer volume of people in every direction. This led to many people trying to perform CPR on their friends who were lifeless in the streets.

Crowd crush

Like a scene from a horror movie, many people in their 20s and 30s were out in their Halloween costumes ready to go hopping from bar to bar in the trendy nightlife district. Soon, bodies were piled up and people from more than 20 countries were dead with sheets covering them. All the while, friends and families were scrambling to find out if their loved ones had perished.

Horror in Itaewon

Korea will go into a mourning period from now until November 5 as all government offices will fly their flags at half-staff. South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol said supporting the victims, helping with funeral arrangements, and taking care of the injured is the government's top priority.

[News from CNN/Washington Post]