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Seoul stampede death: Here's how a chic party turned into a nightmare

Seoul stampede death: Here's how a chic party turned into a nightmare

Partygoers were jammed so closely together in the small streets that it was difficult to move around even before the chaos erupted. According to one survivor, they were trapped for about an hour and a half before being rescued.

 Partygoers were jammed so closely together in the small streets that it was difficult to move Partygoers were jammed so closely together in the small streets that it was difficult to move

On Saturday night, a deadly stampede in South Korea's nightlife district of Itaewon killed at least 153 people and injured over 100 more. Emergency personnel and pedestrians desperately performed CPR on people, most of whom were in their twenties, who were lying in the streets following the crush.


According to South Korea's Interior and Safety Ministry, 56 men and 97 women were among the 153 people killed in Saturday's apparent crowd surge in Seoul's popular nightclub district Itaewon.


Choi Seong-beom, chief of the Yongsan fire department in Seoul, said the death toll could rise further and that an unspecified number of those injured were in critical condition.


It was unclear what prompted the crowd to pour into the narrow downhill alley near the Hamilton Hotel, a popular party destination in Seoul.


At first, the crowd appeared to be in good spirits and calm, but then a commotion broke out, and people began to push and press into one another.

Partygoers were jammed so closely together in the small streets that it was difficult to move around even before the chaos erupted. According to one survivor, they were trapped for about an hour and a half before being rescued.


According to local media reports, one of the survivors saw five to six men push others before one or two fell. According to another survivor quoted by the Associated Press, people fell and toppled one another like "dominos," and many were out of breath.


A woman in her twenties named Park told Yonhap news agency that she and others were standing along the alley's edge, while those caught in the middle had no way out.


Just on the edge of the chaos, as the number of victims quickly outnumbered the paramedics, they were asking bystanders to provide first aid.


Images from the scene showed a large number of bodies spread out on the pavement and covered in bed sheets, as well as emergency personnel in orange vests loading up ambulances with more bodies on stretchers.


Itaewon, known for its hip nightlife and chic restaurants, witnessed people wailing beside the bodies of their friends dressed up for Halloween on Saturday night. Authorities are investigating what prompted the crowd to pour into the narrow downhill alley near the Hamilton Hotel.


Covid dealt a serious blow to Itaewon businesses, and Saturday's Halloween festivities were a beacon of hope for many in the aftermath of the pandemic.  

Published on: Oct 30, 2022, 7:51 PM IST
Posted by: Shubham Singh, Oct 30, 2022, 7:37 PM IST