Halloween crowd crush brings tragedy to Seoul


Doris Lee, Editor

On Saturday October 29, 2022, disaster struck the streets of Seoul’s Itaewon. The plethora of Halloween celebrations that began to commence in these areas, especially after years of quarantine from the COVID-19 pandemic, contributed to the crowd crush that would lead to at least 150 deaths and many more injured.

But how did this crowd surge become so deadly?

The crush occurred in a narrow and sloped alleyway near Hamilton Hotel, a popular area of the nightlife district, that was densely packed with people wanting to participate in the Halloween festivities. With this significantly confined space as well as the desperate actions of those in the crowd moving and attempting to escape the surge, a domino effect of unwanted movement was inflicted upon all surrounding individuals. As a result, many suffered from injuries to their limbs as well as asphyxiation from excessive compression.

Seeing this deadly scene unfold before them, some members of the public administered CPR to those who laid unconscious or lifeless as they waited for the arrival of emergency workers. The streets, now a heavy reminder of those who passed away, were littered with the lost belongings and covered bodies of loved ones.

In the aftermath of the tragic crowd crush, the country’s government promised the launch of a thorough investigation of the occurrence in order to identify those who lost their lives to the surge and understand how to prevent these disasters in the future. Meanwhile, South Korea remains in mourning as visitors continue to lay flowers and gifts along with offering prayers to the victims of the Halloween stampede along the street of Itaewon.