US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Saturday that reports of the Seoul stampede are heartbreaking and that Washington is ready to provide the Republic of Korea with any support it needs in such crucial times.
The White House national security advisor made the remarks on Twitter as he hoped for quick recovery of those injured in the incident. Taking to Twitter, Sullivan wrote, “We are thinking about all those who lost loved ones and hoping for a quick recovery for those injured.”
“The United States stands ready to provide the Republic of Korea with any support it needs,” he said adding that reports out of Seoul are extremely heartbreaking.
Moreover, the death toll in the Halloween stampede that took place in the Itaewon region of Seoul has climbed to 149 now and several are feared brutally injured. An investigation of the incident is underway.
The incident reportedly occurred after a large group of people rushed to an Itaewon bar after hearing an unidentified celebrity visited there, Al Jazeera reported citing the local media. Social media footage showed several people being assisted by rescue officials and private citizens at the scene, and numerous ones performing CPR on people lying in poor condition on the streets.
“The death toll could grow as emergency workers continued to transport the injured to hospitals across Seoul following the crowd crush in the entertainment district of Itaewon on Saturday night, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan fire department, Choi Seong-beom said in a statement.
The stampede occurred after a huge crowd flocked into the central district of the South Korean capital to celebrate Halloween, which was the biggest in years following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Emergency officials received at least 81 calls from people with breathing difficulty, “South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
A large crowd pushed forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities, resulting in dozens needing first aid. South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered the dispatch of the emergency medical team to the area and said hospital beds should be prepared to minimize casualties, his office said.
Numerous people had trouble breathing when the chaotic stampede occurred as dozens were seen giving CPR to people lying lifeless on streets post-incident.