South Korea stampede: At least 153 killed & 82 hurt in crush as Halloween revellers surge up narrow street in Seoul


AT least 153 people are dead and another 82 hurt after a stampede during Halloween celebrations in South Korea.

Graphic pictures show body bags lined up on pavements and shaking survivors being treated by medics following the crush in a popular party district in the capital Seoul.

Authorities said the dead included at least 22 foreigners from China, Iran, Russia, France, the US, Australia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Austria, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Norway.

Rescuers were filmed trying to pull people trapped underneath dead bodies as field hospitals were thrown up to deal with hundreds of casualties.

Survivors were also seen strewn across the pavement wrapped in foil blankets to stay warm following the crush in Itaewon on Saturday night.

Amid the horror one man was filmed climbing up a wall to escape the surge as 100,000 revellers celebrating Halloween panicked.

The deadly crush unfolded on a narrow downhill alley after a throng of partygoers were forced down it.

A witness in his 20s told Yonhap News Agency: “As people in the front fell over, those in the back were crushed.”

More than 800 emergency workers from across the country rushed to the scene close to the Hamilton Hotel and a makeshift morgue was set up in a building nearby.

One witness described the number of bodies piling up as looking like a “tomb”.

Police said scores were being given CPR on the streets while many others were taken to nearby hospitals.

Choi Sung-beom, head of the Yongsan Fire Station, said 82 people were injured, 19 of them seriously.

Witness Raphael Rashid arrived Korea in the area around 7pm local time and not long after panic erupted as “more and more” people flooded in.

He told the BBC: “So many people – to the point we were being crushed on the pavement, to the point where we had to spill onto the road where there were cars.

“No one really understood what was going on.”

AFP news agency said 140 ambulances were scrambled to the scene as the horror erupted just before 10.20pm (1.20pm GMT)  before taking victims off on wheeled stretchers.

Authorities in Seoul said dozens of people collapsed Korea and went into cardiac arrest after being crushed.

It is claimed an unidentified celebrity was at a nearby bar.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol issued a statement calling for officials to ensure swift treatment for those injured and review the safety of the festivity sites.

He also ordered disaster medical teams to be deployed.

It was the first Halloween event in Seoul in three years since the country lifted Covid restrictions and social distancing.

Seoul’s mayor Oh Se-hoon, who was visiting Europe, decided to return home in the wake of the accident.

Yoon declared a period of national mourning and expressed his condolences to the victims, mostly teenagers and people in their 20s, and his wishes for a speedy recovery to the many injured.

He said: “This is truly tragic.

“A tragedy and disaster that should not have happened took place in the heart of Seoul.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reacted in horror to the crush, saying: “Horrific news from Seoul tonight.

“All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time.”

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