South Korea: at least 146 dead and 150 injured

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In Seoul in a stampede during a Halloween party

On the night of Saturday to Sunday, the

emergencies received more than 80 calls for respiratory failure. The victims appear to have been crushed in a huge crowd movement that left at least 146 dead and 150 injured.

The Koreans had their hearts set on celebrating. This year, young people could finally celebrate Halloween after almost three years of restrictions.

But in the night from Saturday to Sunday, the event turned tragic: probably asphyxiated in a compact crowd, congested in a narrow alley, dozens of people suffered cardiac arrest in Seoul, said the southern firefighters -Koreans. According to a new report, at least 146 people have died and 150 others are injured, firefighters said.

Authorities are still investigating the exact cause of the incident, but the fire chief said it was a “suspected stampede” and many people fell. They were somehow “buried” in the crowd.

In the emergency room, calls from the same neighborhood (Itaewon,

night quarter), for the same reason (breathing difficulties) followed one another in a few minutes. So much so that 140 ambulances were deployed to the scene. Videos circulating on social networks show spectacular, almost unreal scenes of people lying on the ground, while others give them synchronous cardiac massages.

The pictures also testify to a horrible panic, with the help being present in large numbers. According to video footage, around 20 bodies were wrapped in sheets or blankets as rescuers made no attempt to revive them. Other victims were evacuated on stretchers to ambulances.

In total, about fifty people are in cardiac arrest in the Itaewon district, where thousands of people were celebrating Halloween, according to the Yonhap agency. The emergency department received at least 81 calls from people with difficulty breathing.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has called for hospitals to be prepared to receive the injured, the presidency said. Photographs released by Yonhap showed more than a dozen people lying in a street, rescuers assisting them as police held the crowds at bay with security cordons.

This drama is part of the movements of

deadliest crowd of the last ten years. On September 24, 2015, a gigantic stampede at the site of the stoning of the stelae in Mina near Mecca, during the annual pilgrimage, left 2,300 dead, the deadliest disaster in the history of the hajj.

And on October 1, a crowd movement in a football stadium in Indonesia led to the death of 133 people, including more than 40 children, after the police wanted to repel supporters with tear gas.