Amusement parks and local governments are canceling Halloween events following the tragic events that recently took place in Itaewon, Seoul.
On October 29, an estimated 100,000 people gathered in Itaewon to celebrate Halloween. It was the first large-scale event after social distancing and mask mandates were lifted. Without the necessary crowd control, things quickly devolved into a state of emergency after a large number of people were trapped in the middle of a crowd surge in a narrow alley that spanned no more than 4 meters in width.
Many people began to suffocate and suffer from cardiac arrest, ultimately leading to the deaths of at least 153 people as of this writing. Many civilians were praised for stepping in to help perform CPR on the victims, as ambulances and firefighters had difficulty reaching them due to unaware party-goers. As of October 30, Seoul has received 3,580 missing person reports.
In light of the tragedy, President Yoon Suk Yeol has announced that a period of national mourning will be observed until November 5, during which many public and media events will be canceled.
South Korea’s popular amusement parks have also canceled major Halloween events that were planned for this weekend. Parks like Everland and Lotte World are incredibly popular sites in K-Pop, as idols often shoot fan-favorite content there. Most recently, for example, NCT DREAM shot their new reality series in Everland, titling the show DREAM in Everland.
As the most popular amusement park in the country, Everland has canceled all its planned Halloween activities, including a parade, street performances, and firework shows. Originally, the park had a Halloween program that was scheduled to take place over the course of 80 days until November 20, all of which has now been scrapped.
Lotte World, which is also a major attraction among South Korean amusement parks, has canceled all its planned activities as well, including its Halloween Festival.
Additionally, local governments have hastened to cancel events such as festivals and street performances out of respect for the victims in Itaewon. They have also had emergency meetings to discuss safety measures for public events.
Read further about what happened in Itaewon right here.