Actor Yoon Hong Bin recently shared his experience during the Itaewon Halloween Emergency, as he participated in what he thought would be fun Halloween festivities before the night took a tragic turn.
Actor Yoon Hong Bin, known for his role as Prince Imhae in the KBS historical Korean drama The Jingbirok: A Memoir of Imjin War, recounted his experience in Itaewon the night of the tragedy in an effort to help people mourn together.
Yoon Hong Bin shared that it was his first experience partaking in the Halloween celebrations in Itaewon, and although he didn’t like crowds, he wanted to join the festivities at least once.
He confirmed that the main streets were filled with people, and he immediately felt the situation was dangerous for himself and his girlfriend to be in.
While he was not part of the crowd in the alleyway during the surge, he shared he was pushed around multiple times due to the large number of people walking around throughout the night. At one point, after nearly falling, it took him over 10 minutes to get out of the crowd. During that time, he also helped another person who had fallen down.
When the crowd surge happened, Yoon Hong Bin was in a nearby bar and witnessed the beginning of the tragedy as he stepped outside for a cigarette.
While over 142 emergency vehicles were reportedly dispatched to the area to assist victims, heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic delayed rescue efforts as medical personnel struggled to reach the location of the tragedy.
Upon seeing the crowd surge, Yoon Hong Bin shared that he rushed to help the victims, laying people on the ground to perform CPR while they waited on medics.
For over 20 minutes, I administered CPR. My girlfriend massaged the victim’s arms and legs, too. We tried mouth-to-mouth respiration. We were crying and praying for the victim to regain consciousness. Dozens of people were performing CPR on the victims in the alley. You could hear all of us begging for the victims to open their eyes. But, from what I know, only one victim from the alley where I was eventually regained consciousness. I was not able to save the victim I was helping.
— Yoon Hong Bin
In Yoon Hong Bin’s recalling of the tragedy, he expressed his frustration with the lack of adequate police presence for the number of people in Itaewon that night.
He hopes that people will learn from this tragedy and put safety measures in place to prevent something like this from happening again.
Additional civilian rescue efforts and full coverage of the tragedy can be found below.