In one of South Korea’s worst tragedies, a crowd crush during Halloween celebrations in Seoul claimed at least 149 lives and injured at least 150 more, according to officials. This incident will undoubtedly lead to major concerns about public safety standards.
People were crushed by a dense crowd surging forward on a small alley in Seoul’s Itaewon districts, a major entertainment and nightlife centre, and the death toll is still being tallied.
Also read: Watch: South Korea Halloween crush that killed dozens in Itaewon, Seoul
Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan fire department, said the death toll could rise and that an unspecified number among the injured were in critical conditions following the stampede in Itaewon on Saturday night.
More than 1,700 response personnel from across the country were deployed, including about 520 firefighters and 1,100 police officers and 70 government workers. The National Fire Agency said in a statement that all of Seoul’s available emergency workers have been mobilized.
Also read: South Korea Halloween crush: Why was there a crowd surge
An estimated 100,000 people gathered in Itaewon — near a former headquarters of U.S. military forces in an area known for trendy bars, clubs and restaurants — for the country’s biggest outdoor Halloween festivities since the pandemic began. The South Korean government eased COVID-19 restrictions in recent months.
Where is Hamilton Hotel Itaewon in Seoul?
Authorities claim that several people are believed to have been crushed to death as a large crowd began surging forward in a narrow street outside the Hamilton Hotel, a well-known gathering site for revellers in Seoul.
Prior reports in the local media said that scores of people flocked to an Itaewon bar after learning that an unnamed celebrity had visited the place.
Also read: 5 worst crowd rush incidents in history
The Hamilton Hotel is located at 179 Itaewon-ro, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.
It is a popular place for both general travellers and business executives traveling to the city. It is located in the Itaewon shopping center.
Also read: South Korea Halloween crush: Nearly 100,000 gathered in first no-mask celebration after COVID
According to the hotel website, “Hamilton Hotel is a four-star modern hotel, built in 1973, a total of 162 rooms. Rooms comfortable and clean, decor is simple and practical. Hamilton Hotel is located in Seoul Itaewon shopping center. Itaewon Gardens, Railway Station No. 6 line on the entrance of the hotel, very convenient for transportation. All rooms are equipped with very high-speed Internet access, guest access to do business or shopping, you can stay at home, both comfortable and convenient.”