According to Fox News, a stampede took place in South Korea over the weekend that has left over 150 individuals dead and many more injured.
The incident occurred in the popular Itaewon district of Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday evening. This area of the city is particularly well-known for its nightlife.
On the night of the incident, Halloween festivities were taken place. With COVID-19 restrictions finally being lifted, residents and tourists gathered in large numbers – numbers as high as 100,000 – to celebrate.
The city’s narrow streets were crowded when disaster struck.
We know that at some point during the evening’s festivities, a stampede was set off in which people were trapped and crushed. Disturbing video footage of the situation has been circulating on social media.
Reports indicate that at least 153 people have now been declared dead, and, just as many, if not more, have been injured, while others are still missing.
About 90% of the victims have been identified thus far, and most of those killed were younger individuals in their 20s.
What we still don’t know, however, is exactly what caused the stampede, as efforts continued to be primarily focused on search and rescue. Such emergencies, however, as a gas leak or a fire appear to have been ruled out by local fire officials as the cause of the stampede.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has put out a statement on the incident calling it “truly tragic,” adding, “a tragedy and disaster that should not have happened took place in the heart of Seoul last night.”
U.S. President Joe Biden has also released a statement on behalf of the United States, saying:
We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea and send our best wishes for a quick recovery to all those who were injured. The Alliance between our two countries has never been more vibrant or more vital – and the ties between our people are stronger than ever. The United States stands with the Republic of Korea during this tragic time.
Yoon has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff.
Yoon has also called for a period of national mourning.