Seoul.- A total of 11 calls from citizens to emergency services warned of crowds and revealed a chaotic situation on the streets of Itaewon hours before the avalanche that cost the lives of more than 150 people last Saturday during the Halloween celebration in that Seoul district.
The National Police Agency (NPA) South Korea released recordings of these calls to the 112 emergency number, many of which can now be seen collected on local media websites.
The first call, made at 6:34 p.m. local time (9:34 GMT) on Saturday, warned of the danger of people being crushed in an alley that connects the district’s main avenue, Itaewon ro, with the pedestrian street that has the largest concentration of bars in the district. that area, which is next to the subway exit and the main intersection of the district, where on Saturday approx 100 thousand people.
“I was just in that alley with people going up and down and it’s scary. People can’t get down and there’s people pushing trying to get up, I felt like someone could be crushed to death,” he explained. the man who made that first call.
“It gives you goosebumps. It’s such a narrow alley and everyone leaving the station goes through that alley and mixes with those trying to get out, and there are people in line for the disco,” said this citizen who requested the presence of the police. .in the place where the avalanche occurred.
Read also: Tragedy in Seoul: How a stampede happened in South Korea that killed 150 people
Several more calls starting at 20:00 local time (23:00 GMT) warned of chaos, that people were “falling” and “hurting themselves” and that the situation was “dangerous”.
Around 21:00 (12:00 GMT Saturday) calls were repeated every few minutes about panic and the danger that people “crushed to death” and, as in previous cases, they were told that police officers would come to the said place.
A citizen trapped in an alley made a final call when the deadly avalanche struck at 10:11 p.m. (1:11 p.m. GMT), ending with screams of pain and the caller shouting “In Itaewon’s back street, Itaewon’s back street!” Itaewon!”.
Read also: South Korea acknowledges lack of protocol to avoid tragedy in Seoul
South Korean authorities have acknowledged the lack of protocol in the country for deploying security forces at a large event with no organizers, and it is not yet known whether local authorities have requested more funds for the annual celebration, which gathers more people in the neighborhood.
The release of the register outraged public opinion over the apparent lack of police response to the disaster that ended So far 156 dead and 29 seriously injured.
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