As President Yoon Suk Yeol and tens of thousands of other people paid respect to the deceased at particular mourning sites, South Korean police investigated on Monday what caused a crowd surge that killed more than 150 people, including 26 foreigners, during Halloween festivities in Seoul, the country’s worst disaster in years.
Witnesses and survivors of Saturday’s tragedy in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood, a renowned nightlife area, described a “hell-like” commotion with people tumbling on top of one other like dominoes.
They claimed it was hard for rescue workers and ambulances to get to the congested alleys in the time since the entire Itaewon district was congested with slow-moving vehicles and partygoers wearing Halloween costumes.
Police claimed to have assembled a task force of 475 people to look into the crash.
Officers are reviewing videos shared on social media and have received footage from around 50 local security cameras.
Senior police officer Nam Gu-Jun told reporters on Monday that they have already spoken with more than 40 witnesses and survivors.
Other police officials stated that they are attempting to determine precisely when, where, and how the mass surge began.
They claimed that on Monday, a group of police officers and forensic specialists from the government searched the Itaewon neighborhood.
“The government will thoroughly investigate the cause of the incident and do its best to make necessary improvements of systems to prevent a similar accident from recurring,” Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said at the start of a government meeting on the disaster.
The country’s hottest location for Halloween-themed gatherings and parties, which have grown increasingly popular among young South Koreans in recent years, is the Itaewon district, known for its international vibe.
Since the pandemic started, the nation’s largest Halloween gathering drew an estimated 100,000 people to that location.
There were 26 foreign nationals among the fatalities.