At least 151 people were killed and over 100 injured after a deadly stampede in South Korea’s nightlife district of Itaewon on Saturday night. Emergency workers and pedestrians desperately performed CPR on people, most of them in their 20s, lying in the streets after the crush.
An estimated 100,000 people had gathered for the country’s biggest outdoor Halloween festivities but the city’s marquee Halloween destination soon turned into a death trap. Even before the chaos broke out, partygoers were packed so tightly in the narrow streets that it was difficult to move around. People were trapped for about an hour and a half before being rescued. They fell and toppled one another like “dominos” and many were short of breath.
Itaewon, known for its hip nightlife and chic restaurants, on Saturday night witnessed people wailing beside the bodies of their friends in Halloween costumes. The authorities are looking at what led the crowd to surge into the narrow downhill alley near the Hamilton Hotel. Covid dealt a serious blow to businesses in Itaewon and Saturday’s Halloween festivities were a hope for many after the pandemic.
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