Death by stampede: South Korean Halloween festival tragedy


Screenshot from abc news YOUTUBE channel

Ambulances were at the street of Itaewon to rescue people from the stampede.

156 people died and 157 were injured, including two American students, at the Halloween Festival in Itaewon, Seoul. 101 women and 55 men died in the accident. The reason for their death was none other than a stampede, due to so many crowds over in the area. 

How did this happen in Itaewon? Itaewon is an area located in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. In Itaewon, they hold large celebrations for Halloween because there used to be a U.S. Army base located in this area. Therefore, there are many foreigners in Itaewon, and they celebrate a variety of different cultures.

Another reason for this accident was due to Itaewon’s different ways of celebrating Halloween than other countries. For example, there is a big difference from the United States’ Halloween and South Korea’s Halloween. In South Korea, the age group that usually celebrates Halloween is 20s or 30s. Also, South Koreans don’t go trick-or-treating on Halloween. People in South Korea just go to pubs or clubs wearing fancy costumes. 

There are some specific reasons why this accident happened. Some people who were there said  that some crowd in the back started pushing the crowd. Others say that police force numbers were too small to control the crowd at Itaewon.

First responders doing CPR for the people who lost consciousness from the stampede (screenshot for NBC news YOUTUBE channel).
Citizens getting moved to nearby hospital by ambulance after the accident (Screenshot photo from nbc news YOUTUBE channel).

Lastly, the street that many people died was so cramped that only 7 or 8 people could walk at a time. However, when the accident happened, thousands of people were in that cramped street. 

People who were there were doing CPR for the people who had lost consciousness at the end of the street, and the victims were moved to a nearby hospital. 

Accidents like this have never happened before in South Korea. The saddest part about this tragedy was that the victims were mostly college students who were just starting their lives as adults.

South Korea has set five days, beginning on October 29th, as a mourning period for the victims and their families, who lost a precious family member in this Halloween tragedy.