Deadly Halloween disaster takes place in Seoul

By Farah Bassyouni Nov4,2022

Seoul experienced one of its worst disasters on Saturday night, Oct. 29 as thousands of people gathered in Itaewon to celebrate Halloween, when a panic erupted within the crowds and caused death and injury.

So far, 154 have died and 133 are injured. There have also been 4,000 missing people in relation to the disaster, according to the Seoul city government. Witnesses said it was hard to breathe, with very little space for movement. 

There was little to no crowd control before the disaster, and it took a few hours for emergency calls to be made as many were not aware of the situation. In the narrow street, loud clubs and bars surrounded the crowd, making it difficult to call for help or even realize something was wrong. 

The Halloween costumes added to confusion and chaos. One eyewitness claimed police officers were shouting during the disaster, but some thought they were fellow partiers. 

For the past two years, the annual celebration of Halloween was restricted by the pandemic, making Saturday night the first “normal” Halloween. According to CNN, some attendees even flew into Seoul from other countries, and hotels were booked weeks in advance. 

Authorities launched an urgent investigation and President Yoon Suk Yeol called an emergency meeting. He promised to implement new measures to prevent similar incidents.

In addition to providing funding and psychological treatment for the families of the victims, the country declared a national mourning period until Nov. 5, and Itaewon has been designated as a special disaster area. 

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