(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – A Sri Lankan male is among those who died in a crush as huge Halloween crowds surged into a narrow street in South Korea’s capital, Seoul yesterday (Oct 29), according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Sabri.
Further, he has been identified as a 27-year-old from the Kandy area, the Foreign Minister said.
At least 151 people had died and more than 82 were injured in the crowd crush in Itaewon, Yongsan-gu, central Seoul in South Korea, according to fire authorities at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
The fire department began to receive reports of patients having difficulty breathing at 10:22 p.m. on Saturday.
Of the people who died, more than 100 were transferred to the hospital. The remaining bodies were kept on site and later moved to a nearby multi-purpose indoor gymnasium. Identifying the deceased is expected to take some time, according to fire officials.
Officials confirmed that 19 foreigners were among the dead as of 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. The death toll is currently made up of 97 women and 54 men.
Around 100,000 people were in the entertainment district throughout the day on Saturday to celebrate the first Halloween weekend without mask and social distancing measures since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following reports of the incident, President Yoon Suk-yeol said, “All related ministries and agencies, led by the minister of public administration and security, should make every effort to promptly provide aid to the victims,” according to Lee Jae-myung, a deputy presidential office spokesperson.
The president also called for safety measures to deal with emergencies that could be triggered at Halloween events taking place throughout the country. Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon has also decided to return immediately from his business trip in Europe, according to reports.