Seoul Halloween Stampede: How It Happened

Seoul Halloween Stampede: How It Happened

Every year, is flooded with thousands of people who come to celebrate Halloween. Some even fly all the way from other countries in Asia for the festivities, and the increase in popularity makes the attraction even more crowded.

As many South Koreans celebrate the holiday of All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween, local media reports that 151 people have been killed during this year’s festivities

In the past two years, celebrations have been less joyous with restrictions on large crowds and mandatory masks.

One year ago, North Korea lifted these restrictions and allowed people in Seoul to dress up for Halloween. This was the first time this has ever been allowed in North Korea. Many international visitors attended, including foreign residents of the country.

The hotels and ticketed events in the area had been booked out for weeks, and there was a large crowd expected.

Witnesses say there was not much, if any, crowd control before the mass at the festival turned deadly.

It’s clear from looking at the photos and videos posted to social media that the people in this city don’t have enough space.

Seoul residents are used to crowds; they’re normal for that area, or even in Seoul as a whole where its citizens live with large population density.

One person said it took a while for people to realize that something was wrong because of the loud music and panicked screams coming from bars and clubs nearby.

The first emergency calls came in around 10:24 p.m., and authorities rushed to the scene right away. The sheer volume of people at the event on that hot night made it difficult for responders to reach those in need.

Video posted to social media showed people performing CPR on the ground while they waited for medical assistance.

The thousands of people in Halloween costumes contributed to the widespread sense of confusion and chaos. One witness even reported seeing a police officer shouting during the disaster, but some party-goers mistook him for another reveler.

The cause of the accident is still unknown, and there were no gas leaks or fires at the site.

Young people, mostly in their teens and early 20s, died as a result of the incident. The area is known for its nightlife and trendy restaurants. is popular among backpackers and international students.

Among the 151 dead was 19 foreigners. These include citizens from Iran, Norway, China, Thailand and Uzbekistan. Authorities are still investigating the incident.

More than 90% of the victims have been identified, South Korea’s Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min said on Sunday.

According to the Justice Minister, about 10 people can’t be identified, as some are under the age of 17 – too young to hold a national ID card – and others are foreign nationals.

So far Sunday afternoon, Seoul authorities have received 3,580 missing persons reports, according to the city government. Those figures could include multiple reports for the same person or reports filed Saturday night that were covering those who were found by Sunday.

 

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