Stampede turns deadly during Halloween festivities in Seoul

© Jung Yeon-Je, AFP

At least 120 people were killed and dozens more were injured after being crushed by a large crowd pushing forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities in the capital Seoul, South Korean officials said.

Choi Cheon-sik, an official from the National Fire Agency, said at least 60 more people were being treated for injuries and that the death toll could grow. Officials say it was believed that people were crushed to death after a large crowd began pushing forward in a narrow alley near Hamilton Hotel, a major party spot in Seoul.

He said more than 400 emergency workers and 140 vehicles from around the nation, including all available personnel in Seoul, were deployed to the streets to treat the injured.

Officials didn’t immediately release a death toll, as they usually don't until the deaths are confirmed at hospitals. The National Fire Agency separately said in a statement that officials were still trying to determine the exact number of emergency patients.

TV footage and photos from the scene showed ambulance vehicles lined up in streets amid a heavy police presence and emergency workers moving the injured in stretchers. Emergency workers and pedestrians were also seen performing CPR on people lying in the streets. Multiple people, apparently among those injured, were seen covered in yellow blankets.

Police also confirmed that dozens of people were being given CPR on Itaewon streets while many others have been taken to nearby hospitals.

Some local media reports earlier said the crush happened after a large number of people rushed to an Itaewon bar after hearing an unidentified celebrity visited there.


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