South Koreans mourned and searched for relatives lost in the “hell-like” chaos that killed more than 150 people, mostly young adults, when a huge Halloween party crowd surged into a narrow alley in a nightlife district in Seoul.
It remained unclear what led the crowd to surge into the downhill alley in the Itaewon area on Saturday night, and authorities promised a thorough investigation. Witnesses said people fell on each other “like dominoes,” and some victims were bleeding from their noses and mouths while being given CPR.
Kim Mi Sung, an official at a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism in Itaewon, said she performed CPR on 10 people who were unconscious, mostly women wearing witch outfits and other Halloween costumes. Nine of them were declared dead on the spot.
“I still can’t believe what has happened. It was like a hell,” Kim said.
As of Sunday evening, officials said 153 people were killed and 133 were injured. Nearly two-thirds of those killed — 97 — were women. More than 80% of the dead were in their 20s and 30s, and at least four were teenagers.