South Korean Halloween celebration turns into deadly stampede


Mariam Bangurah, Staff Writer


On Saturday, Oct. 29, citizens of Seoul, South Korea were in a festive mood when the Itaewon district held its largest Halloween celebration after lifting some covid restrictions. However, the event became anything but a celebration. It was chaos.

Videos posted to social media show hundreds of people packed tightly in a narrow, tight, and upward-sloped alley near a nightclub. A person on top of the slope fell, which caused many others to do the same. The crowd took the lives of over 150 people, one being a University of Kentucky student. People rushed dozens of limp bodies to less crowded areas attempting to perform CPR after the crowd turned into a stampede. According to CNBC, a girl was trapped under the crowd for more than an hour and survived.

Many of the victims were young, in their teens and 20s. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police, 150 victims have been identified, including 20 foreign nationals. The foreigners who died at the scene were from countries that include China, Iran, Uzbekistan, Norway, and Australia. The Seoul Metropolitan Government indicates that there may be more victims. By 5 p.m. on Sunday local time, 4 a.m. Eastern Time, they had received over 4,000 missing person reports.

The incident is one of the deadliest in the nation’s history, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has announced an emergency investigation into the disaster as well as a day of mourning for all of the lives lost. Leaders from around the world are expressing condolences to the families of those lost in the Halloween celebration. President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping are among those who expressed sadness for the tragedy.