SEOUL: At least 151 people were killed and over 150 injured after they were crushed by a large crowd pushing forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities at Seoul in South Korea, officials said Saturday.
Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan fire department, said the death toll could rise and that an unspecified number among the injured were in critical condition following the stampede in Itaewon.
He said those killed or hurt were mostly teens and people in their 20s.
Officials said people were crushed to death after a large crowd began pushing forward in a narrow alley near Hamilton Hotel, a major party spot in Seoul.
Seong-beom said the dead included 19 foreigners, whose nationalities weren’t immediately released.
The death toll could rise further as 19 of those injured were in critical condition.
More than 800 emergency workers and police officers from around the nation, including all available personnel in Seoul, were deployed to the streets to treat the injured.
The National Fire Agency separately said in a statement that officials were still trying to determine the exact number of emergency patients.
TV footage and photos showed ambulance vehicles lined up in streets amid a heavy police presence and emergency workers moving the injured in stretchers.
Emergency workers and pedestrians were also seen performing CPR on people in the streets.
An estimated 100,000 people had gathered in Itaewon for the country’s biggest outdoor Halloween festivities since the pandemic began.
The stampede is the biggest disaster since 304 people, mostly high school students, died in a ferry sinking in April 2014.