For many young people, this was their first significant opportunity to go out and party since the government of South Korea loosened COVID-19 restrictions in recent months.
Huge groups of revelers, many of whom were in their late teens and early 20s, gathered in Seoul’s Itaewon area for late-night Halloween celebrations, resulting in a catastrophic stampede of South Korea that left at least 151 people dead, and 82 others injured.
After tens of thousands of people visited the region for Halloween, the deadliest stampede in South Korea history occurred on Saturday night in a little downhill alley close to the Hamilton Hotel in the renowned nightlife zone, according to the Yonhap news agency.
According to Choi Seong-beom, the head of the fire department in Yongsan, which contains Itaewon, as of 9 a.m. Sunday, 151 people had died overall, including 19 foreigners, and 82 others had been hurt, 19 of them badly.
Dozens of casualties were found on a nearby road receiving CPR from rescuers who had been sent to the spot. Those in the back were crushed while those in the front tumbled over, a witness in his 20s told Yonhap news agency.
The majority of the accident’s victims were in their late teens and early 20s, according to the authorities. It is not yet known if any of the victims were children.
Rescue personnel and regular citizens were seen performing CPR on casualties in the streets in video footage. Initial complaints of patients having breathing problems were made by locals in the Itaewon area in large numbers. Around 10:15 p.m., the initial complaint was made.
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