Drama in South Korea, in Seoul where more than 150 people die
The provisional toll is 151 people, including 19 foreigners, died and many others were injured Saturday night, October 29.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol pledged that his government would “rigorously” investigate the causes of the disaster, one of the worst in the recent history of the Republic of Korea.
“I have a heavy heart, and it is difficult for me to contain my grief,” added the head of state in a televised address to the nation, who went to the scene of the tragedy on Sunday morning, dressed in the green uniform of the emergency services, and declared national mourning.
All the bodies were lined up on the sidewalk under blankets or other makeshift shrouds, heart massages performed in the street by passers-by at the request of the overwhelmed firemen, people in disguise or in evening clothes running in panic: the night turned into a nightmare in the district of Itaewon, located near a former U.S. military base and known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, its bars and party places of all kinds in a maze of narrow streets.
“My friend said to me: there is something terrible happening outside,” said Jeon Ga-eul, 30, who was having a drink in a bar then. “I said, ‘What the hell are you talking about? I went out to see, and I saw people giving CPR.
The event occurred around 10 p.m. (1300 GMT) Saturday near the Hamilton Hotel, on a main avenue surrounded by steeply sloping alleys. Fire officials said the crowd movement killed at least 151 people, including 19 foreigners of various nationalities, 97 women and 54 men.
The figures are not yet exact and the number of injured was divergent, with the Ministry of the Interior counting about 150 and the fire department 82.
Other figures are circulating, such as that of the Seoul authorities, who announced that 355 people had also been reported missing early Sunday morning, October 30.
“People were on top of each other like in a grave. Some were gradually losing consciousness, others were obviously dead,” an unidentified witness told Yonhap.
In an interview with local TV station YTN, Lee Beom-suk, a doctor who administered first aid to victims, described scenes of chaos and horror.
“When I first tried to perform CPR, there were two victims lying on the sidewalk. But soon after, the number exploded,” he recounted.
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