SEOUL — Dozens of revelers were injured on Saturday night during a stampede in Seoul, where thousands of people had gathered in the city’s popular Itaewon neighborhood to celebrate Halloween.
As many as 81 people were reported to be suffering “breathing problems,” police officers said. The South Korean national news agency, Yonhap, reported that about 50 people were in cardiac arrest.
President Yoon Suk Yeol ordered his government to dispatch urgent help and medical assistance to the scene after he was informed of “multiple casualties,” his office said in a statement.
Seoul’s mayor, Oh Se-hoon, who was visiting the Netherlands, was returning to South Korea, his office said.
Photos published by domestic media showed citizens, police officers and emergency medical workers performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on people sprawled on the pavement. Live footage on MBC-TV, a local broadcaster, showed firefighters carrying what looked like bodies covered with white sheets on stretchers to ambulances.
Local media said the narrow alleys of Itaewon were jam-packed with as many as 100,000 people for the Halloween festivities on Saturday evening. Earlier in the day, large protests had blocked city traffic in the area.
This is a developing story.