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South Korea Halloween Crowd Crush kills at least 120 people

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — At least 120 people were killed and 100 others injured as they were crushed by a large crowd advancing down a narrow street during Halloween festivities in the capital Seoul, officials said. South Korean officials.

Choi Seong-beom, fire chief of Yongsan in Seoul, said the death toll could rise and an unknown number of injured were in critical conditions following the stampede in the Itaewon entertainment district. Saturday night.

He said 74 of the dead had been sent to hospitals while the bodies of the other 46 who had been kept on the streets were being transported to a nearby gymnasium so workers could identify them.

Officials said people were crushed to death after a large crowd began advancing down a narrow alley near the Hamilton Hotel, a major party spot in Seoul.

More than 800 rescue workers and police from across the country, including all available personnel in Seoul, were deployed to the streets to treat the injured.

A man sits among the bodies of victims, who are believed to have suffered cardiac arrest, in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon.

YELIM LEE via Getty Images

The National Fire Agency said separately in a statement that authorities were still trying to determine the exact number of emergency patients.

Television footage and photos showed ambulances lined up in the streets amid a heavy police presence and rescue workers moving the injured on stretchers. Rescuers and pedestrians were also seen performing CPR on people lying in the streets.

In one section, paramedics were seen checking the condition of a dozen or more people who lay motionless under blue blankets.

Police, who were restricting traffic in nearby areas to speed up transportation of injured people to city hospitals, also confirmed that dozens of people were receiving CPR on the streets of Itaewon. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has sent emergency text messages urging area residents to return home quickly.

South Korea Halloween Crowd Crush kills at least 120 people
A health official sprays an antiseptic solution at outdoor stores in an alley in Seoul’s Itaewon district to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Halloween in October 2021.

Chung Sung-Jun via Getty Images

Some local media earlier reported that the thunderbolt happened after a large number of people rushed to a bar in Itaewon after hearing an unidentified celebrity going there.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol issued a statement calling on authorities to ensure prompt treatment of the injured and review the safety of party venues. He also asked the health ministry to quickly deploy disaster medical assistance teams and secure beds in the nearby hospital to treat the injured.

Local media said around 100,000 people flocked to the streets of Itaewon for the Halloween festivities, which were the biggest since the start of the pandemic following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions these days. last months.

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