Photo: National Fire Agency gives a report on the Itaewon stampede. Credit: the Blue Roof.
A sudden surge of crowd in Itaewon 이태원, a popular destination in Seoul for Halloween parties and festivities, caused a stampede that left at least 120 deaths and 100 injured, with more casualities currently being reported. The disaster is already the largest incident of crushing deaths in South Korean history.
Itaewon is known for its vibrant nightlife, filled with bars, restaurants and dance clubs. Halloween is one of Itaewon's most popular nights, as Korea's youth flock to the area that was once a hangout area for the US troops stationed in Seoul. As much as 100k people were believed to be in Itaewon at the time of the incident.
At around 10:35 p.m., emergency responders rushed to Itaewon after a flood of calls reported deaths and injury. Much of the damage occurred at a narrow alley near the landmark Hamilton Hotel 해밀턴 호텔, in which a crowd pushed and shoved into a road that is no wider than 5 meters across in some parts.
More than 840 first responders and 140 ambulences reported to the scene, giving CPR to dozens of partygoers whose heart had stopped on the main road of Itaewon. At 2:40 a.m. on October 30, the National Fire Agency 소방청 announced that there were 120 deaths and 100 injuries, with at least some of the injuries likely to be re-classified as deaths.
This is a developing story as of 3:57 a.m. local time in Seoul.