On October 29, a Halloween party in Itaewon, a popular tourist area in Seoul, South Korea, attracted about 100,000 participants, became the place of a stampede. As of the October 30, at least 153 people were killed and more than 150 were injured in the stampede. Of the 20 foreign nationals killed, four were Chinese.

It is suspected that a celebrity appeared in a bar, leading to the masses chasing the celeb that led to the stampede.

Witnesses said that at that time there were so many people that they suffocated. Everyone left the scene. When the emergency crew arrived, there were so many victims that paramedics asked for the public’s help.

Hong Qizheng, a professor of emergency medicine at Seoul National University Hospital, told Yonhap News that the accident was a stampede caused by a large number of people pushing and pressing, many of whom suffocated.

Song Kyung-joon, a professor of emergency medicine at Seoul National University of Medicine, now working at Boramae Medical Center, also said that most of the casualties in the Itaewon incident resulted from the press of people. The victims couldn’t breath causing hypoxia and cardiac arrest.

According to the CCP media CCTV and China News, as of October 30, four Chinese citizens are believed to have died and two others were injured.

Chinese students: Press of the crowd lifted people off their feet

In an interview with China’s Xiaoxiang Morning News, student Hu (pseudonym), an international student in South Korea, said that on the evening of October 29, she went to Itaewon to find her Chinese friends. Around 8:30 pm, after getting off the subway, she noticed that there were more people that night than before. A photo of the subway station exit she provided showed the crowd of people.

Hu said that when her friend walked down a pathway in Itaewon at a later time, she no longer walked on her own, but was pushed along with the crowd. Hu said that there were many traffic policemen that night, but more and more people were walking behind, and she and her friends were separated many times by the crowd.

Because of the large crowd Hu and her friends decided to leave early. She said that while wearing a mask in the gathering crowd she told her friends she couldn’t breath.

Hu also pointed out that someone in Itaewon intentionally pushed people that night. She said, “It was very crowded and there was a ‘crazy person’ trying to squeeze in. I was also knocked down while walking. Luckily I was able to get up.”

She was glad that she left early, “The friends with me were not injured. Looks like everyone left early because there were so many people. Some people managed to get into a store during the chaos and avoid the disaster.” She also believed the accident could have been caused by someone intentionally trying to cause trouble, “because someone pushed people in the crowd, and there was even a fight.”

Another Chinese student by the name of Zhou, told Southern Metropolis Daily that she arrived in Itaewon at around 7 pm. Because there were so many people, she took the subway home at around 8 pm, and avoided the tragedy. She said that “the flow of people was extremely crowded, so many people were suffocating, their feet couldn’t even touch the ground. When I left, I posted on social platforms, urging people not to go there.”

The accident also reminded many netizens of the 2014 Shanghai stampede.
On the evening of December 31, 2014, Chen Yi Bund Square held a New Year’s Eve event and a light show. More than 1 million people attended, far beyond the 300,000 area could handle. Along with poor route planning, and a large number of stairs, there were stampedes before the light show started, causing 36 deaths and 49 injuries.

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