The death toll during the stampede of thousands of young people celebrating Halloween on Saturday in the narrow streets of a downtown Seoul neighborhood rose to 153, official sources reported, while South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol promised a ” rigorous investigation” of what was one of the worst tragedies in the country and declared National duel.
The crush and stampede occurred in the popular capital district of Itaewon, where local media indicate that up to 100,000 people -most of them teenagers and 20-somethings- arrived on Saturday night, filling its alleys and winding streets, in the first big party in seoul after the pandemic.
Going to the place where the events took place, the South Korean president declared a period of national mourning, saying in a television message that it was “a tragedy and a disaster that should not have happened.”
He also assured that the Government will carry out a “rigorous investigation” of the causes and will take action to “ensure” that an event like this “does not happen again in the future.”
“I have a heavy heart and it is difficult for me to contain my pain,” he added in a televised address.
According to the latest balance of victims reported by the Ministry of the Interior to the AFP news agency, 153 people died, including 20 foreignersin the stampede.
Most of the deceased were young women in their 20s.the portfolio said, adding that 134 people were injured.
Among the foreigners killed were citizens of Iran, China, Uzbekistan and Norway, according to the Yonhap news agency, while two Russians were also among the dead, according to the Tass agency.
Seoul authorities said they had also received 2,642 missing person reports. Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon was in Europe and decided to return to South Korea.
Choi Seong-beom from the fire department explained that “the high number of victims was due to the fact that many were trampled”.
“People were falling down piled on top of each other like in a grave. Some were gradually losing consciousness and others seemed dead at that moment,” a witness told Yonhap news agency.
On the other hand, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, joined the international leaders who expressed their dismay at the event and claimed to be “shocked”, in addition to expressing “deep condolences”.
From Argentina, the Government expressed in recent hours through a tweet from the Foreign Ministry “its regret for the stampede that occurred in Seoul, which caused deaths and dozens of injuries”, and expressed its “solidarity with the affected families and with the people of the Republic of Korea”.
—Telam Agency (@TelamAgency) October 30, 2022
Meanwhile, the Argentine embassy in Seoul posted on its Facebook account two phone numbers “in case you require assistance from the Argentine Consulate”: 010-2843-5056 (from Korea) and +82-10-2843-5056 (from abroad). ).
The Argentine government expresses its regret over the stampede that occurred in Seoul, which caused deaths and dozens of injuries.
We express our solidarity with the affected families and with the people of the Republic of Korea.
– Argentine Foreign Ministry 🇦🇷 (@CancilleriaARG) October 29, 2022