The event occurred in the Itaewon nightlife district during the first uncovered Halloween festivities since Covid, inflicting at least 82 injuries.
According to reports, there was a terrible sight of individuals piled on top of one another.
Most of those who perished were young adults or teenagers. 19 of them were non-Americans.
The disaster’s origin is still being determined.
Yoon Suk-yeol, president of South Korea, gave the order to form a task force to assist in the treatment of the injured following an emergency meeting. He also started looking into what caused the crush.
The Sewol ferry tragedy in 2014, which claimed the lives of more than 300 people, set a record for the deadliest disaster in South Korea.
One of the most well-liked areas in Seoul for a night out in Itaewon. Every weekend, locals and visitors from abroad throng there, but Halloween is one of the busiest nights of the year.
The first Halloween since the outbreak of the epidemic where crowd sizes were not restricted and costume requirements were waived was celebrated there on Saturday with an estimated 100,000 people attending.
A congested alleyway that was narrow and slanted looked to be where the crush began. Social media posts of images and videos reveal how congested the lane was, making it impossible for anyone to move around. In one video, folks are shown having trouble breathing. In another, first responders work to free victims from what looks to be a mass of dead bodies. There are distressed cries audible.
Blue tarps covered the bodies that were lined up down the street. Others were taken into ambulances while still alive. Along with hundreds of emergency personnel who were dispatched from around the nation to assist, members of the public feverishly performed CPR on the unconscious people.
Families and friends of the missing have started arriving at the area this morning in search of information that would indicate if their loved ones were present.
However, in order for relatives to visit and identify the dead, the bodies were taken off the street and placed in a gym. This will likely take some time because there are so many fatalities, but it is the authorities’ top priority right now.
A doctor who provided first aid at the incident reported that there were only two fatalities when he began administering CPR, but “the number skyrocketed shortly after, outnumbering the first responders.”
Some individuals commented on the Itaewon area’s crowdedness earlier in the evening in social media posts, saying they felt unsafe there.
Big crowds were expected for Christmas and fireworks festivities, according to one witness, Park Jung-Hoon, but “this was several ten-fold more than any of that.”
According to a local journalist, there has been “an emergency mishap near Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon” and a broadcast has been made to every mobile phone in the Yongsan District advising residents to get home as soon as possible.
The focus will probably turn to the crowd management procedures and safety regulations in place at these events. A study of the security at celebration locations has already been requested by President Yoon.
Many prominent world figures have sent their sympathies. Both French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed their sympathies to the South Korean people.
Josep Borrell, the top diplomat for the EU, expressed his sadness and Jake Sullivan, the national security counselor for the US, promised American help.