At least 154 dead in Itaewon Halloween disaster

Halloween festivity in Seoul's Itaewon on Saturday became tragic as more than 150 individuals died due to crowd crush.

South Korean officials said the death toll had risen to 154 with 149 injured, 33 of them in serious condition.

At least 154 dead in Itaewon Halloween stampede
Photo Credit: Twitter/allkpop and Reuters

Some of foreign nationals from 14 countries were among the casualties, which include Iran, Uzbekistan, China, Russia and Norway.

Police said over 100,000 tropped to Itaewon, a district in central Seoul known for its nightlife, to celebrate Halloween as COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.

The Korea Herald reported that at 10:40 p.m. the crowd, mostly in their 20s and 30s, surged into the narrow alley, leaving people stuck for about an hour and a half. As hundreds found themselves trapped in the tight space of the alley, many of those who could not get out died of suffocation.

The disaster is the country's deadliest since a 2014 ferry sinking that killed 304 people, mainly high school students.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on Monday promised a thorough investigation into the Halloween crush.

— The Summit Express

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