Seoul: At least 120 people died and 100 injured after a stampede in the South Korean capital of Seoul, according to local officials.
“Some of those injured are in a serious condition and the death toll could grow, emergency authorities have warned. Many of those caught up in the stampede suffered a cardiac arrest,” officials said.
The victims were crushed by a large crowd pushing forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities near the Hamilton Hotel in the Itaewon area.
Videos from the scene show body bags on the streets, emergency workers performing CPR, and rescuers trying to pull people trapped beneath others.
#BREAKING: Stampede in #Seoul, #SouthKorea left dozens with cardiac arrest during #Halloween Saturday night. Over a hundred thousand attended the celebrations.#SeoulStampede pic.twitter.com/y8AW5LCFgB
— Media Warrior (@MediaWarriorY) October 29, 2022
South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol has called an emergency meeting.
Shortly after the accident, Yoon came to the presidential office in Yongsan and presided over a response meeting related with the Seoul Itaewon Halloween accident, the presidential office said.
“The top priority is transporting and rescuing the patients and providing prompt medical treatment for the affected people,” Yoon was quoted as telling the meeting.
The president also ordered “immediate” response measures, including clearing the path for ambulances and other necessary traffic controls, according to Lee Jae-myeong, deputy spokesperson for the presidential office, reports Yonhap.
There were reportedly 100,000 revellers in the area celebrating the first outdoor no-mask Halloween event since the pandemic.
Choi Cheon-sik, an official from the National Fire Agency, said more than 400 emergency workers from around the country have been deployed to the scene, including almost all of those available in Seoul.