Janelle Story was among thousands of young people who descended on Seoul’s Itaewon district last night to celebrate Halloween.
She and her friends had specifically booked an organized pub crawl because “we knew it would be busy.”
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She describes how she left the first bar at 9:30 p.m., about an hour before the crowd arrived, to scenes that already felt awkward, but an hour later it was a very different story.
“Very suddenly this wave of people rushed towards us with incredible force and urgency, and at the time I stopped filming because it had gotten really serious and scary.”
“I felt panic because I don’t like crowds, so I panicked, and I saw panicked faces coming towards us because it’s scary, it would take a second for you to fall .”
What she experienced was not even in the narrow alley where people lost their lives, but in one of the wider adjacent streets, a sign of just how chaotic the neighborhood had become.
She says the only police uniform she saw in the race was a person in disguise.
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“It’s distressing, it’s confusing, I still have a lot of questions,” she added.
“It wasn’t a huge unexpected event, the city knew there would be 100,000 people coming out tonight, this is the first time since COVID that we could actually go out and have a Halloween party!”
“How did this happen, where was the prevention?”