Stampede kills nearly 150 in Seoul during Halloween party

At least 149 people died and some 76 others were injured overnight from Saturday to Sunday in a stampede in central Seoul where tens of thousands of people, many of them in fancy dress, celebrated Halloween for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The crash, one of the worst in South Korea’s recent history, happened around 10:00 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Saturday evening near the Hamilton Hotel, located on a main avenue surrounded by steep alleys . The crowd movement killed at least 149 people, including two foreigners, firefighters told AFP. The Ministry of the Interior, for its part, reported around 76 injuries.

A video shared on Twitter by a surfer claiming to have been in Itaewon at the time of the tragedy shows hundreds of people, mostly very young and in cowboy, pirate or other attire, in a street lined with bars. The scene, calm at first, suddenly turns to confusion. Passers-by are pushed and fall on top of each other, screams are heard and a woman swears in English and shouts: “Oh my God! Oh my God! »

Around 100,000 people, according to local media estimates, had come to Itaewon for this Halloween holiday, the first in the South Korean capital since the Covid-19 pandemic, during which large gatherings were banned.

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