© Reuters. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol walks at the scene where many people died and were injured in a stampede during a Halloween festival in Seoul, South Korea, October 30, 2022. REUTERS/ Heo Ran
By Soo-hyang Choi, Daewoung Kim and Hongji Kim
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol declared a period of national mourning on Sunday after a Halloween crush killed some 151 people in a packed nightlife area in Seoul.
Yoon expressed condolences to the victims and wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.
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“This is truly tragic,” he said in a statement. “A tragedy and disaster that should not have happened took place in the heart of Seoul last night.”
A huge crowd celebrating in the popular Itaewon district surged into an alley on Saturday night, emergency officials said, adding the death toll could rise.
A further 76 people were injured in the melee, Choi Sung-beom, head of the Yongsan Fire Station, said in a briefing at the scene.
Nineteen of the injured were in serious condition and receiving emergency treatment, the officials said,