The Deadly Halloween Disaster in Itaewon

In CNN’s article “What We Know About the Deadly Halloween Disaster in Seoul”, reporters say, “Now it’s the site of one of the country’s worst disasters.” On October 29, 2022, thousands of people crowded the streets of the Itaewon neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea to celebrate Halloween. The celebration was filled with music and laughter, but as the night went on the sounds of delight soon turned into screams of terror.


The streets and alleyways of Itaewon are known to be narrow and tight. As more and more partygoers showed up to join the celebration, it soon became a major hazard and once people took notice of this, panic ensued, and a deadly stampede began. Unfortunately, it has not yet been determined as to how this stampede occurred, as authorities are continuing to investigate this matter, but witnesses say that partygoers had been tightly packed together. It had eventually become hard to move within the crowd, resulting in no one towards the center, being able to get out. Instantly, partygoers began struggling to breathe and fought their best to get the help they needed but unfortunately, with the loud music and thousands of people around dressed in various types of costumes, help was unsuccessful when it was needed.


Itaewon has always been known for having memorable celebrations throughout the years. This Halloween celebration was marked as the first since the COVID-19 pandemic had been lifted after two years, and large crowds were expected. Sadly, this disaster took the lives of 154 people. Of that number, at least 26 were foreign nationals from countries all over including; America, Australia, Iran, Thailand, Japan, Sri Lanka, Norway, France, China, Vietnam, Russia, Austria, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. This loss has had a major impact on not only the families of each victim but the people of South Korea as well. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol officially declared a national mourning period after this unfortunate disaster. Prime Minister Han Duck-soo announced in a media briefing, “Following the president’s directive, the government has decided to observe a national mourning period until midnight of Nov. 5, during which the nation will mourn the perished.” During this period, government offices and overseas missions were to lower their flags to half-mast and/or cancel non-essential public events. Civil servants and employees were to wear ribbons to express their condolences. People from all around the world are giving their condolences to the families of the victims and every other person affected by this unfortunate accident.





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