Seoul Halloween crowd crush updates: At least 153 dead in crowd surge, officials say

At least 153 people have been killed and 82 injured after being crushed by a crowd during Halloween in Seoul, South Korean authorities said.

Most of the victims were in their 20s, according to the National Fire Agency. ABC News confirmed that two Americans were among the 19 foreigners who died.

Photo: South Korea  Seoul  October 30  2022  October 30  Rescue workers wait at the scene of a 2022 stampede that injured dozens of people.

South Korea Seoul 2022 October 30 Dozens of people were injured in the 2022 stampede and rescue workers waited at the scene.

Kim Hong-ji/Writer

Photo: South Korea;  October 30  2022,  A party leaves the scene of a Halloween party in Seoul that left several people dead and injured.

South Korea Seoul October 30 2022 October 30 During a Halloween 2022 crowd, several people were killed and injured at the party.

Kim Hong-ji/Writer

University of Kentucky student Anne Gieske was among the dead, the school’s president, Eli Capilouto, said in a statement Sunday.

“Anne, a nursing junior from Northern Kentucky, is studying in South Korea this semester on an education abroad program. There are two other students and a faculty member who have been in contact this semester as well and are safe,” Capilouto said. .

“We have reached out to Anne’s family and will do all we can to support them now and in the coming days as they cope with this indescribable loss,” he said. “We will be there for those in the community who knew and loved Annie. There are almost 80 South Korean students in the UK who are members of our community and will need our support.”

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Steven Blesi, 20, of Georgia, was also identified as one of the victims.

“The world is a darker place without Steven,” his father Steve Blesi told ABC News.

“Last night we received a phone call that no parent should ever accept. Our beloved son, Steven, has died in this horrific incident while studying abroad in South Korea. Our condolences and prayers,” Steve Blesi said in a statement.

Steven Blesi, also an international business major at Kennesaw State University, where he was a student, also announced in a statement that he was a student at 11 universities in South Korea as part of a study abroad program. KSU said other students were reported safe.

“On behalf of the entire state of Kennesaw, our thoughts and prayers go out to Steven’s family and friends for this unfathomable loss,” said President Kathy Schwaig. “We have reached out to Steven’s family and provided them with all the resources the university has available.”

Concerned that the death toll in the attack may increase, officials said that the death toll was 120 dead and 100 injured during the preliminary press release.

Photo: South Korea  October 30  2022,  2022,  October 30  A man receives medical aid from rescue team members after dozens of people were injured in a stampede in Seoul.

South Korea Seoul 2022, October 30 October 30, 2022 In 2022, dozens were injured in a stampede and received medical aid from rescue team members.

Kim Hong-ji/Writer

Photo: South Korea  2022 in Seoul;  October 30  Medical workers attend to a man on a stretcher after dozens were injured in a stampede after people gathered on narrow streets in the capital's Itaewon neighborhood to celebrate Halloween on October 30, 2022.

South Korea October 30, 2022 in Seoul; Medical workers attend to a man on a stretcher in the crowd after dozens were injured in a stampede as people gathered on narrow streets in the capital’s Itaewon neighborhood to celebrate Halloween on October 30, 2022.

Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Several patients who went into cardiac arrest after emergency CPR were transferred to area hospitals, the agency said.

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Witnesses said the incident took place on Saturday night in the Itaewon holiday district, where crowds pushed past the narrow alleys in the area.

Officials said that the incident started around 10:20 pm local time. Rescue workers took time to respond due to the large crowd.

More than 100,000 people gather for Halloween parties in the area, known as nightclubs. The area has bars in narrow back alleys off the main street. According to eyewitnesses, the road bends, People are reported to be stuck in winding roads.

Footage from the scene showed a large emergency and police response in the county, with some large crowds still gathering at the scene. CPR can be seen on the street.

Officials said they are investigating the cause of the crowd.

Photo: South Korea  2022 in Seoul  October 30  On October 30, 2022, dozens of onlookers were injured in a stampede after people gathered in the narrow streets of the city's Itaewon neighborhood to celebrate Halloween.  Police and medical personnel gathered.

South Korea 2022 in Seoul; October 30 On October 30, 2022, onlookers and onlookers after dozens of people were injured in a stampede in the narrow streets of the city’s Itaewon neighborhood to celebrate Halloween. Police and medical personnel gathered.

Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

Photo: South Korea  Seoul  October 30  2022  October 30  People sit on the street after people were rescued at the scene of a 2022 stampede that injured dozens of people.

South Korea Seoul October 30 2022 October 30 People sit on the street after being rescued at the scene of a crowd collapse during a Halloween 2022 event that injured dozens.

Kim Hong-ji/Writer

‘It’s so scary’

Janelle Story, an American who has lived in South Korea since 2016, said the area is usually crowded, especially on Halloween. But this is “another level”.

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“It’s the first time since the pandemic that we’ve been able to go out,” she said. “Itaewon is famous for being crowded, but this is a level I’ve never seen before.”

Photo: South Korea  October 30  2022,  Rescue teams work at the scene of a crowd collapse during a Halloween festival in Seoul, injuring dozens.

South Korea Seoul October 30 2022 October 30 In 2022, dozens of people were injured in a stampede and rescue teams were working.

Kim Hong-ji/Writer

Photo: South Korea  Seoul  October 30  2022  October 30  The victims' belongings are seen at the scene of a 2022 stampede that injured dozens of people.

South Korea 2022, October 30 The belongings of the victims are seen at the scene of a stampede during a Halloween festival in Seoul that left dozens injured.

Kim Hong-ji/Writer

She said the story and a friend were bar hopping when she started filming the crowd around 10:30 p.m.

“It’s running, “I saw in front of me a group of people who liked to push and move fast, and they screamed in horror,” she said. “We were slowly standing up. And then it happened. Bam, people from this wall came to look at us.”

“I stopped doing movies because it was so scary,” she added.

Story said other bystanders said they were passing out. When trying to get to the subway station, fire trucks, Ambulances and police cars were seen before he returned home safely.

“I can’t believe this has happened. I don’t know how,” she said. “It feels like an extraordinary event.”

‘Tragic’ reports.

The tragedy that the United States gave to South Korea.

“The news coming out of Seoul is heartbreaking,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said. said on Twitter.. “Thinking of all those who have lost loved ones and hoping for a speedy recovery for those injured. The United States stands ready to provide the necessary support to the Republic of Korea.”

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden expressed their deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in Seoul.

“We sympathize with the Republic of Korea and its people, and we wish all those injured a speedy recovery,” the president said in a statement. “The alliance between our two countries has never been more dynamic or more important, and the relationship between our peoples is stronger than ever. The United States stands with the Republic of Korea during this tragic time.”

ABC News’ Nicholas Cirone contributed to this report.



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