On October 29, reports of a massive incident in Itaewon, Korea began to surface online. According to bystanders in Itaewon, around 50 people suffered cardiac arrest and received CPR on the street, though the number may be much higher. Emergency officials reportedly received at least 81 calls from people in Itaewon saying they were having difficulty breathing.
Multiple videos were shared showing many people laying on the ground, some receiving CPR while others were carried off into ambulances. President Yoon Suk Yeol ordered officials to administer first aid, and Prime Minister Han Duck Soo told officials to do their best to minimize damages. Seoul’s mayor, Oh Se Hoon, was visiting Europe but reportedly decided to return to Seoul after receiving word of what happened.
In the midst of the chaos, it was reported by one Twitter user that the streets were too packed for emergency services to come through. They shared that the “fire brigade were desperately trying to go through thousands of people” while “police were standing on top of cars” to instruct people to move out of the way for ambulances.
Itaewon incident. I don't have more info but when I was there fire brigade were desperately trying to go through thousands of people, police were standing on top of cars telling people to leave the area make way for ambulances. Deeply disturbing images emerging on social media. pic.twitter.com/U6z5P2jQCc
— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) October 29, 2022
As more videos of the incident surfaced, clips of party-goers in the streets dancing and singing were shared online as firetrucks and ambulances attempted to administer aid to those who needed it.
와 구급차 앞에서 사람들 이러고 있는 거 ㄹㅈㄷ다 같은 나라에서 살기 싫음 pic.twitter.com/TAEevlIsMv
— 김죠스 (@shekfw) October 29, 2022
Unfortunately, because of how tightly packed the streets of Itaewon are for the Halloween event, it is difficult for people to move. These packed streets are also what likely caused this emergency situation.
We wish everyone safety.