A swell of partygoers killed at least 154 people and injured more than 130.
South Korea is trying to figure out what went so disastrously wrong after a crowd crush in Seoul killed at least 154 people and injured more than 130.
Almost all of the dead, including at least 56 men and 97 women, have been identified per CNN. They were mainly partygoers in their 20s and 30s, celebrating Halloween after the pandemic.
Itaewon, the maze of bars and restaurants where tragedy struck, has been quiet for the last couple of years thanks to lockdowns and mask mandates, but it’s typically a popular party site — with some attendees even flying in for the festivities.
An urgent investigation has been launched to determine how a night of celebration led to such a horrifying scene. According to CNN, eyewitnesses say there wasn’t much of an attempt by authorities to control the crowds. Calls to emergency services reportedly began at around 10:24 pm, but the volume of people in the areas where help was needed made it difficult for authorities to reach them.
Nuhyil Ahammed, 32, an IT worker from India, told the BBC: “It was crazy. From 5 pm there were too many people on the streets. So I was thinking, what’s it going to be like from seven or eight?”
By 11 pm, it was clear that things had gone horribly wrong, and Ahammed found himself carried away by the swell of people.
“People began pushing from behind, it was like a wave – there was nothing you could do,” he told the BBC. “Even if you were standing still, someone was pushing you from the back and from the front.”
Kelly Kasulis Cho, a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, unpacked the latest on this heartbreaking tragedy. Here’s what she had to say: