At least 146 people died and 150 were injured in an apparent outpouring of crowds during Halloween festivities in Seoul on Saturday night, according to the Yongsan fire chief.
Here are the latest developments.
Death toll could rise: With local hospitals treating dozens of injured people from Seoul’s Halloween emergency, the death toll is likely to rise, a local health official said. The cause of the injuries and deaths in the incident has not been officially confirmed, added Choi Jae-won, the head of the Yongsan Health Center.
An official blames the influx of crowds: A local fire official described the emergency as a “suspected rush”, but the investigation has only just begun. Few details of specific injuries were provided. The Yonhap news agency reported that dozens of people were suffering from “cardiac arrest” and breathing difficulties.
Authorities said the emergency was not due to a gas leak or a fire in the popular nightclub district. They began receiving reports of people being “buried” in the crowd around 10:24 p.m. local time (9:24 a.m. ET) on Saturday.
Witnesses observe a chaotic scene: A witness said people were stuck in a narrow street and could not breathe. “I saw the people going to the left side and I saw the person going to the opposite side,” Song Sehyun told CNN. “The person in the middle got stuck, so they had no way to communicate. They couldn’t breathe.
CNN’s Will Ripley reported that a long line of stretchers forming in the street would be used to remove the bodies from the scene.