At least 151 people died in a stampede in South Korea on Saturday night after being crushed by a 100,000-strong crowd on a narrow street during Halloween festivities. Dozens of people suffered cardiac arrest, reports said. Harrowing videos show dead bodies lying on the streets, while dozens were seen receiving medical assistance on the road.
Among the dead, 19 are foreigners. Besides hundreds were hurt, according to a National Fire Agency official. The deadly tragedy unfolded in Seoul's Itaewon entertainment district. More than 599 were being treated for cardiac arrest as of early Sunday, according to the official. It's estimated that hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Seoul for the 2022 Halloween Festival.
Itaewon Known for Hi Life
Itaewon, the site of Saturday's deadly stampede that killed at least 149 people, is known for its hip nightlife and chic restaurants, making it a favourite hangout among young people in their 20s and beyond, IANS news agency reports.
"Itaewon's bars and clubs have long served American troops stationed in the country as the neighbourhood is located near the former main garrison of the US Forces Korea (USFK) in central Seoul," the report says.
More From IANS
The district is also home to many foreign embassies, ambassadors' residences and houses of worship for minor religions in South Korea, such as Islam and Judaism, Yonhap news agency reported.
With the relocation of the USFK headquarters to Pyeongtaek, 65 kilometres south of Seoul, Itaewon began to shed its image associated with American troops and reemerged as a vibrant entertainment and shopping district.
The neighbourhood also became the centre of attention as President Yoon Suk-yeol relocated the presidential office to the former Defence Ministry compound near Itaewon in May.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a serious blow to businesses in Itaewon and Saturday's Halloween festivities had been hoped to mark another return to life after the pandemic.