International News

Stampede Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea

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Author : Bozhou Marine
Update time : 2022-11-01 11:37:25

SEOUL — It was supposed to be a festive evening, as large groups of lively young people gathered in one of Seoul’s most popular nightlife districts, dressed as zombies, princesses and superheroes, for the first time unrestricted since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic Halloween celebration.

On Saturday night, they flocked to bars and nightclubs blasting South Korea's latest pop hits, squeezed into the winding narrow alleys of Seoul's Itaewon, and sampled Greece, Turkey, Italy and the rest of the world in a place known for its diversity 's cuisine.

As the night's activities became more and more frenzied, the number of revellers increased, and many people crowded into an alley more than three meters wide, forming a bottleneck of people flow, and the people inside had difficulty breathing and could not move. According to witnesses, there were almost no police around at the time, and shouts of "push, push" were heard from the crowd, followed by loud shoving. Then, people started to fall, too many bodies, one after the other, compressed into too little space.

Itaewon is one of the most popular nightlife areas in Seoul, South Korea. The "Halloween" stampede tragedy occurred on the 29th. It is the first festival without masks after the new crown epidemic in Seoul. It is estimated that 100,000 people gathered at the scene, and there was one more than 10 p.m. The trampling of people in the narrow inclined alley has caused 154 deaths, most of them young women, including 26 foreigners. South Korean President Yoon Seok-yue declared a national mourning for 7 days.

It was one of the worst peacetime disasters in South Korea, and the tragedy and questions about the authorities' accountability for crowd management have damaged the image of South Korea, which, despite its thriving tech industry and massive pop culture export, also happens frequently. man-made disaster. The disaster has also exacerbated the political woes of President Yin Xiyue, whose approval ratings are already low and more people are taking to the streets to demand his resignation.

During the official situation briefings on Sunday, officials including President Yoon Sek-yue and Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon vowed to do everything they can to make South Korea safer. But they offered little explanation for why there were no crowd-control measures on Saturday night, what went wrong in the alleys of Itaewon and why the disaster continued in South Korea. | Marine Light
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