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Deadly Halloween Crowd in Seoul Results in Death and Injuries of Hundreds 

By: Fiona Laddey

Photo courtesy of cnn.com

On Saturday, October 29th, South Korea mourned the loss of 154 young citizens. That night, more than 100,000 people clogged the narrow streets of Itaewon, excited to begin the Halloween festivities. The crowd consisted mainly of teenagers and young adults, all decked out in costumes. Eyewitnesses stated that as the night continued, the street was so packed it became difficult to move or even breathe. 

Around 4 PM, eyewitnesses report that the crowds became significantly big, but no one thought anything of it. By 5 PM, the crowd reached max capacity, and the alley was completely blocked off. The police received the first urgent calls around 6 PM, people panicking about unsafe conditions. By 7 PM people began spilling out onto the main road.

Conditions began to get serious between 8-9 PM, and Suah Cho, a citizen stuck in the crowd, explained that “some people started pushing each other, and people were screaming” (cnn.com). The screaming went on for fifteen minutes, and people began climbing buildings and running down allies to survive. 

Although authorities began arriving around 10:23 PM, It was not until 12:14 AM that Yoon Hee-keun, the president of South Korea’s National Police Agency, sent a medical disaster team to the crowd, and ordered hospitals to prepare emergency beds. Soon after, the government began sending out missing person reports. 

Unfortunately, several citizens did not survive—154 people died, and over 140 were badly injured. Many people have still not been identified, and families are anxiously waiting for a report. The police admit responsibility and feel guilty for not responding sooner. 

As time goes on, citizens have grown more and more angry, demanding an answer as to how the event could have gone so wrong. South Korea is slowly recovering from the tragic event and hopes to prevent something so terrible from happening again. 

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