According to the latest report by Korean authorities, 146 people died and 150 were injured following a massive stampede this Saturday.
The balance sheet continues to grow. This Saturday, more than 140 people died during Halloween festivities in South Korea’s Seoul district. A great mass movement is the origin of the play.
BFMTV.com takes a look at what we know about this jam and its consequences.
· What happened?
As Halloween celebrations were in full swing on the streets of Seoul on Saturday, drawing crowds of people to the capital, a large crowd caught movement enthusiasts in central Seoul’s Itaewon district.
Photos released by Yonhap showed more than a dozen people lying on a street, with rescuers performing CPR on some of them, as police surrounded the crowd. According to video footage, around 20 bodies were covered with sheets or blankets, however, rescuers made no effort to revive them. Other victims were taken out on stretchers to ambulances.
Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified witness as saying the victims were crushed by the crowd. “People were on top of each other. Some gradually lost consciousness, others apparently died,” the source said.
This year’s Halloween celebrations will be the first since the Covid-19 pandemic in which South Koreans have been forced to wear masks outdoors.
· What is the current balance?
According to the latest report by the authorities, 146 people died and 150 were injured following the stampede.
“As of 4 a.m. (7 p.m. GMT Saturday), 146 people have been killed and 150 injured,” Choi Seong-beom, a fire official from the South Korean capital, told reporters at the scene.
“There is a high number of victims because many people were trampled during the Halloween party,” he added, hoping the number could rise.
· What are the means of assistance involved?
Following the incident, 140 ambulances were dispatched to the scene to treat the victims, a fire department spokesperson said.
Faced with a large number of victims, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol asked hospitals to prepare to receive the injured, the country’s president announced on Saturday. As for Seoul Mayor Oh Sae-hoon, who visited Europe, Yonhap says he hastily decided to return because of the tragedy.
· Why did the authorities talk about “heart block” in the first place?
Before speaking of deaths following the stampede, firefighters in the South Korean capital first reported dozens of people suffering heart attacks.
A choice that finds an explanation in the country’s medical practices: In South Korea, relief officials talk of cardiac arrest unless a doctor officially declares a person dead.
· What are the reactions internationally?
Hours after the tragedy, President Emmanuel Macron tweeted support for “the entire Korean people” as the toll continued to rise. He expresses “a moving thought for the residents of Seoul” this Saturday evening.
“France is on your side,” the head of state added.
In the process, Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne underlined her “very strong feeling”. “All my thoughts are with the victims, their loved ones and the Korean people”, always via the social network.
Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak took to Twitter to lament the “bad news out of Seoul”.
“Our hearts go out to the current responders and all South Koreans at this difficult time,” he continued.