- choice of words
- BBC News World
At least 146 people were killed in Seoul, South Korea’s capital, when a stampede hit a massive Halloween party on Saturday.
Number of deaths increased quickly within a few hours, passing the first of 59 to 120 and then to 146. Authorities reported another 150 injured.
Videos recorded in the district Itaewon from Seoul, the scene of the incident, showed emergency workers performing CPR on victims and rescuers trying to pull out people trapped under others.
The cause of the human rush was not clear. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called an emergency meeting.
County Itaewon es popular areanightlife the capital of South Korea.
A total of 142 rescue vehicles were mobilized to deal with the emergency.
Officials said the death toll could rise, and the seriously injured were being treated at nearby hospitals.
“The area is still chaotic, so we are still trying to find out the exact number of injured,” said Moon Hyun-joo, an official of the National Fire Agency.
It is known that there are foreigners among those transferred to hospitals.
What is known about the incident?
Authorities said they were investigating the exact cause of the incident, which happened around 10:20 p.m. local time (13:20 GMT) on Saturday.
A human avalanche happened on the hill where the people at the top fellwhich, according to the first indications, caused a massive crowding in the narrow alley.
It happened during a Halloween celebration, said Choi Sung-beom, chief of the Yongsan Fire Station.
“In one street, more than a dozen people were lying on the ground, their bodies covered with blue blankets. Then, apparently unconscious, they were taken to ambulances,” said Jean Mackenzie, the BBC’s Seoul correspondent.
“Itaewon is one of the most popular places for a night out and Halloween is one of the busiest weekends of the year“, he explained.
The area seemed “unsafe”
Eye 100,000 people celebrated the first outdoor mask-free Halloween party in the area since the pandemic.
Some messages posted on social media during the afternoon show several people commenting that Itaewon is so crowded that he felt insecure.
Hosu Lee, a BBC journalist, visited the scene and says he saw “many medical personnel and many ambulances taking the bodies away one by one”.
Lee added that there were thousands of people in the crowd and that many bodies were covered in blue sheets nearby, along with “a lot of police”.
“A lot of young people gathered here tonight. Many masked people came to the party and the club. I saw it a lot of anxious and sad people“, the journalist added.
Photos and videos show emergency workers and civilians helping what appear to be unconscious people on the street.
In one of the videos, several rescuers appear to be performing CPR on several people in a narrow street in the district.
Another local reporter said an emergency message was sent to all cellphones in Yongsan District urging citizens to return home as soon as possible due to an “emergency accident near the Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon.”
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