Itaewon Stampede: What We Know So Far

Itaewon Halloween Stampede: What We Know So Far

Praying for all the victims.

On the night of 29 Oct 2022, there was a deadly Halloween stampede in Itaewon, Seoul. By 6am the next morning, the South Korean National Fire Agency confirmed that there were at least 150 deaths including 20 foreigners and 80 injuries. 

A night to be forgotten

Itaewon in Seoul, South Korea has always been known for its nightlife and trendy restaurants. Three years after the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea held its first unmasked event without crowd limits in the famous district. The event saw 100,000 costumed party goers flooding in from the subway station to celebrate Halloween. 

A crowd surge started to turn into a stampede in the tight alleyway next to Hamilton Hotel. Images and videos on social media showed that people were unable to move as some attempted to push through the crowd. Around 50 victims started to show signs of suffocation and cardiac arrest. A source also claims that they heard cries of distress and saw people trying to climb nearby buildings to avoid being crushed. 

itaewon halloween stampede

Image credit: KasulisK

At least 140 first responders arrived at the scene to handle the situation. In one video, EMTs can be seen struggling to pull out people from under a pile of bodies. Meanwhile, members of the public were seen administering CPR on the street as the injured were lifted into ambulances. 

Within the same morning, families and loved ones turned up at Wonhyo Multipurpose Indoor Gymnasium to confirm the identities of the bodies under blue blankets. 

itaewon halloween stampede

Image credit: KasulisK

As of 8.40am on 30 Oct 2022, a final briefing revealed that the death toll was 151 people. Most of them were teenagers or were in their 20s. 19 of these victims were identified as foreign nationals from Uzbekistan, China, Norway, Iran, Thailand, and many more countries. On the other hand, 82 of the injured victims were hospitalised, with 19 in critical condition. 

While 90% of the victims have been identified so far, many remain missing. As of 30 Oct 2022, Seoul authorities have received over 3,580 missing persons reports. 

Since then, Yoon Suk-yeol (the President of South Korea) has declared a national mourning period until 5 Nov 2022. The whole district of Yongsan-gu has been designated a special disaster area.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the affected victims and families at this time.

Featured image credit: Sanga Park via Canva Pro

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Natasha Effendy
Natasha Effendy

Natasha is a wordsmith and digital content creator who's been trying to write her way into the adventure of a lifetime. If she's not writing, you'd definitely catch her nursing her addiction to romance and fantasy novels with a cup of tea.