UPDATED 10:54 AM PT – Monday, October 31, 2022
South Korea’s government is investigating the deadly crowd surge in the nation’s capital.
154 people were killed and more than 100 were injured over the weekend as tens-of-thousands of people gathered in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood for Halloween festivities.
Authorities say the crowd surge began with people pushing others in narrow alleyways, which in turn set off a deadly panic. The state department has confirmed that two Americans are among those dead. The two Americans, Steven Blesi and Anna Gieske, both 20, were college students studying abroad in South Korea.
In the aftermath, questions are arising over whether or not more police should have been dispatched to the area to help control the large crowds. Authorities are interviewing witnesses and reviewing video recordings as part of their ongoing investigation.
South Korea’s President, Yoon Suk-Yeol, declared a week of national mourning. The president has ordered that the government will pay funeral fees for the dead, medical costs for the injured and consolation payments to affected families.