New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday expressed his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the horrific Seoul Halloween stampede and said India stands in solidarity with South Korea during this difficult time. At least 151 people were killed and 76 others were injured in a deadly stampede during Halloween celebrations in Seoul's Itaewon district on Saturday, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported citing authorities.
Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said, "Deeply shocked at the loss of so many young lives due to the stampede in Seoul. Our condolences to the families of those who lost their dear ones. We stand in solidarity with the Republic of Korea during this difficult time." The death toll in the horrific Seoul Halloween stampede rose to 151, with 19 of the victims identified as foreigners, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported citing fire authorities.
Toll includes people from other nationalities
During a briefing, Choi Seong-beom, the head of the fire department in Yongsan, said the death toll from Saturday's accident rose to 151, which included 19 foreigners. Their nationalities include those from Iran, Uzbekistan, China and Norway, Choi added.
The agency also reported that the victims in their 20s accounted for the age group most affected by the horrific Seoul Halloween stampede. Moreover, the agency, citing the Seoul metropolitan government, said on Sunday it has received about 270 reports of missing persons related to the deadly stampede during Halloween parties in the Itaewon district.
Stampede occured after mob tried to chase a celebrity
The incident reportedly occurred when a large group of people rushed to an Itaewon bar after hearing an unidentified celebrity was visiting there, Al Jazeera reported citing the local media. Social media footage showed several people being assisted by rescue officials and private citizens at the scene, and many rescue officials performing CPR on people lying in poor condition on the streets.
The packed Halloween festivities in South Korea's capital of Seoul took place after Covid restrictions were removed, the local officials said. The festivities marked the participation of more than a lakh visitors and the number of casualties is only expected to rise.Emergency officials received at least 81 calls from people with breathing difficulty, "South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
A large crowd pushed forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities, resulting in dozens needing first aid. South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered the dispatch of the emergency medical team to the area and said hospital beds should be prepared to minimize casualties, his office said.
People struggled to breath
Numerous people had trouble breathing when the chaotic stampede occurred as dozens were seen giving CPR to people lying lifeless on streets post-incident. South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol presided over an emergency response meeting Sunday over the deadly stampede, as per the officials.
"Shortly after the accident, Yoon came to the presidential office in Yongsan and presided over a response meeting related to the Seoul Itaewon Halloween accident," the presidential office said."The top priority is transporting and rescuing the patients and providing prompt medical treatment for the affected people," local media reported quoting Yoon as saying.
Authorities are still looking into the exact cause of the accident as the investigation is underway.Emergency forces were dispatched following the crowd surge which resulted in fatalities. Firefighters and police officers also reached the Itaewon neighbourhood in Seoul to bring the situation under control.