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Voice of America: Dozens Hurt, Many Feared Dead in Seoul Stampede

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Dozens of casualties were feared early Sunday following a major stampede in a party-going district in South Korea’s capital, where young people had gathered for Halloween celebrations. 

At least 50 people were in cardiac arrest and were receiving CPR following the incident in Seoul’s Itaewon area, which had been packed with Halloween crowds, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. Emergency officials received at least 81 calls from people who were having difficulty breathing, the news agency reported. 

South Korea’s KBS broadcasting service reported at least two people were dead.

The Itaewon area, located in central Seoul, is lined with nightclubs and bars that are popular with expatriates and locals.

Earlier Saturday night, the district appeared packed with revelers celebrating Halloween. Local media estimated about 100,000 people had gathered for Halloween festivities. 

It is not immediately clear what sparked the stampede, but pictures and videos posted on social media depicted scenes of chaos as revelers, many dressed in Halloween costumes, attempted to resuscitate those who had been injured. Local TV broadcasters showed ambulances carrying what appeared to be bodies covered by white sheets into ambulances. 

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, whose office is near Itaewon, was presiding over a late-night government response, his office told reporters. Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who is in Europe, also has decided to return home, Yonhap reported.

Voice of America

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