February 8, 2023 6:20 am

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Halloween Tragedy: Stampede in South Korea Results in 154 Deaths

The Halloween tragedy became one of the worst accidents in South Korea's history.

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Seoul, the capital of South Korea, witnessed a tragedy during the Halloween celebration on October 30, 2022. The stampede led to the death of 154 people after a crowd was struck in the narrow roads of the Itaewon neighbourhood of Seoul. The Halloween tragedy became one of the worst accidents in South Korea’s history.

Out of those killed in the stampede, 19 people were foreigners from Norway, China, Iran and Uzbekistan. The incident left more than 151 people injured.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol immediately asked to dispatch the First aid teams and called for the prompt arrangement of hospital beds for the patients. More than 140 ambulances arrived at the site of the incident to aid the victims.

The authorities are still looking to know the exact reasons for the incidents. The Horrific Videos/images that came across the Internet show people screaming, crammed together while standing shoulder to shoulder with each other.

National Mourning in South Korea

After the Halloween tragedy, the president of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol declared November 30, a day of national mourning and ordered the flag to be lowered.

The South Korean president condemned the shocking incident stating, “it should not have ever happened”.

World’s reaction to the tragedy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his deep anguish at the tragic loss of life in the stampede in Seoul. He wrote a letter to South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and conveyed his deep condolence to the Friends and Families who lost their loved ones.

The Indian EAM Dr S. Jaishankar expressed grief and offered his condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the stampede at Seoul.

US President Joe Biden in a tweet, said that he and his wife, Jill are sending their condolences to the families of the dead. 

The world leaders, from United Kingdom’s PM Rishi Sunak to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, joined in conveying deep anguish over the horrific Halloween tragedy.

History of the Halloween Festival

Halloween means “Halloween Evenings.” The term “Halloween” is derived from “All Saints Eve” or “All Hallows Eve.”

Halloween Festival is celebrated on October 31 to commemorate a new beginning. It lasts three days and concludes with All Soul’s Day. The westerners commemorate this day after wearing scary costumes and spooky makeup, posing as Witches, Ghosts, Skeletons, Vampires, Hobgoblins, Demons etc.

Halloween Celebration in South Korea

Itaewon, famous for its nightlife, is a prominent place for the Halloween festival in the South Korean capital. 

As per several reports, at least 100,000 people, mostly youngsters, were celebrating Halloween in the area. Several individuals were trampled, which led to their deaths.

Halloween in India

In recent years, the western festival has gained popularity in India — predominantly in urban areas. Now, it has become a part of pop culture to celebrate Halloween.

The Indian youngsters celebrate Halloween after wearing scary costumes and spooky makeup. However, in India, there are long-celebrated festival events and festivals which closely resemble the Halloween festival.

Police Chief Apologises

South Korea’s Police chief, Yoon Hee Keun apologises for not being available and failing to save the public from the deadly Halloween stampede in Seoul.

 The Police Chief in a televised press conference stated that “I feel a heavy responsibility (for the disaster) as the head of one of the related government officers”. He further said, “Police will do their best to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again”. 

According to him, the officers got some emergency calls on their phones from the public who were stuck in the crowd regarding the possibility of a stampede in the Itaewon. But the officers who received calls from the citizens didn’t respond in a satisfactory manner.

Asha Kumari
Asha Kumari
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