“The situation is very scary right now”: they reveal that the first warning to the police came a few hours before the tragedy in South Korea

  • Jonathan Head and Tessa Wong
  • BBC News Seoul

A woman with a face mask is crying with her eyes closed

image source, Reuters


The disaster left the country in a state of shock and mourning.

The first call to police in Itaewon, Seoul, came in at 6:34 p.m. local time, hours before the deadly avalanche descended and killed at least 150 people.

A caller to South Korea’s 112 emergency number said they were on a main street in Itaewon and the alley next to the Hamilton Hotel was dangerously crowded.

“That alley is very dangerous right now, people are going up and down, so people can’t get down, but people keep going up, they’re going to get crushed,” the caller said.

“I barely made it, but it’s too crowded. I think we should deal with it.”

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