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Halloween crush from South Korea: “I was stuck on a ledge, watching people perish”

Halloween crush from South Korea: “I was stuck on a ledge, watching people perish”

Halloween crush from South Korea: "I was stuck on a ledge, watching people perish"

Halloween crush from South Korea: “I was stuck on a ledge, watching people perish”

Those who survived the fatal Seoul Halloween crush have been talking about how horrified they were to see friends and acquaintances suffocating in an alleyway while dance music played late into the night.

Crowds swarmed the Itaewon neighbourhood of the capital of South Korea, resulting in at least 153 fatalities.

Nuhyil Ahammed told the BBC, “People started rushing from behind; it was like a wave, and there was nothing you could do.”

“My inability to sleep last night. In front of me, I can still see people perishing.”

The 32-year-old, who talked with the BBC on Sunday afternoon, claimed that he was caught in the crush and that nobody could have prevented it by acting to protect themselves or others.

Videos of the incident that are upsetting have circulated on social media. On Instagram, Mr. Ahammed revealed his traumatic experience.

The video depicts people—mostly teenagers or adults in their 20s—crammed so closely together in a small, sloping alley that they were unable to move. Then, they began to be propelled in all directions. Some people were forced to the ground. Others had trouble breathing.

One of the most well-liked areas in Seoul for a night out is Itaewon. Every weekend, locals and visitors from abroad throng there, but Halloween is one of the busiest nights of the year. The catastrophe occurred as the region was organising its first unmasked Halloween events since Covid.

On Saturday, there was a celebration attended by almost 100,000 individuals. Since Covid, gathering sizes were unrestricted for the first time.

Lee Sang-min, South Korea’s interior minister, meanwhile, said that authorities had not anticipated such numbers in Itaewon’s congested streets.

“I hear that the personnel were deployed at a comparable scale as before because the anticipated size of the gathering in Itaewon did not change significantly from the prior years.”

He said that numerous officers had actually been stationed in other parts of the capital on Saturday night.

I am unsure of the precise number of police officers dispatched [to Itaewon], but many had already been stationed in Gwanghwamun, where a sizable crowd was anticipated for a protest, he said during a briefing.

The incident also resulted in at least 82 injuries. Because they were under 17 or lacked an adult ID, Mr. Lee said that some victims went undetected.

In addition to requesting an investigation into what caused the crush, President Yoon Suk-yeol also proclaimed a day of national mourning.

Halloween crush from South Korea: "I was stuck on a ledge, watching people perish"

Mr. Ahammed, an Indian IT worker who resides in Seoul, claimed to have gone to this Halloween party for the previous five years.

He claimed that while there were more police there last year, there was “no crowd control” this year despite the gathering being unlike anything he had ever seen.

Mr. Ahammed, who was there with pals, claimed he couldn’t remember why they had wished to enter the lane other than the fact that it was a well-liked gathering place for costumed partygoers.

But he realised something was awry as soon as they were snared in the mob.

“Even if you remain motionless, someone will push you both from the front and the back. It occurred several times. I became aware that something was off. I had a fear that something might occur.

He claimed that after falling, he was able to climb up some steps that were located next to the alley. “A woman with angel’s wings beckoned me, and I managed to get onto a high step,” he stated.

There were simply too many people, and they were falling, squeezing, and yelling.

“I was just observing everything from the step. They are helpless, and there is nothing we can do to help.”

He claimed that while he observed people taking what might as well have been their final breaths, he felt helpless. He tried calling his friends out of concern but they did not pick up. Hours later, he would learn that they had succeeded in escaping the throng.

When the throng dispersed and the ambulances arrived, Mr. Ahammed finally understood what had happened. He stated, “They started dragging bodies from underneath.” One man continues to do CPR on his friend while knowing that he is dead for 30 minutes.Halloween crush from South Korea: "I was stuck on a ledge, watching people perish"

 

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