‘People fell like dominoes’: reports of the Halloween panic in South Korea

Family members gathered at a Seoul community center in search of information from their loved ones

Credit, Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Witnesses describe scenes of panic and utter chaos as the narrow streets of the popular Itaewon district of Seoul, South Korea, were filled with a crowd that found it difficult to breathe and move.

“There were tens of thousands of people, the most I’ve ever seen in my life… to the point where we were crushed to the ground,” independent journalist Raphael Rashid tells the BBC.

Thousands of teenagers and 20-somethings were dressed up for Itaewon, a district in the heart of the capital that is known for its intense nightlife.

They were excited to be able to celebrate the date, after two years of restrictions in South Korea due to the covid-19 pandemic.

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