Halloween Festival Gone Wrong


Aftermath of accident

Emily Smith, Reporter

Halloween Festival in South Korea resulting in over 151 casualties, and over 100 in critical condition due to overcrowding. Incident quoted as “Crowd Crushing” on the night of October 29th, 2022, a little town in South Korea by the name of Seoul hosts an annual Halloween festival throughout their tiny town. For the past 2 years Seoul has cancelled their festival due to covid restriction. Following this year and the release of all restrictions, and completely opened the festival including musical concerts, loud music, open bars and restaurants to the crowds.  

Everyone was ecstatic to enjoy their first festival in 2 years, resulting in a turnout of over 100,000 people. The town of Seoul is tiny, the streets are enclosed by tall buildings, and are roughly 4 meters wide. Although it is known this town does yearly festival; it is not considered an official event. Therefore, they do not, and have never had security, handle crowd control nor any type of safety measures in place. Following the night of October 29th when the town had met its complete capacity, people continued to flood into the town, causing a very tight congestion, forcing people to hug the walls, and keep a very tight composure in order to not get pushed down while in the crowd. 

In the picture presented is the narrowest strip in the town, ranging approximately 4 meters from the wall at a downward slope. Because there were so many people in attendance, the crowds were unbearable, resulting in it being shoulder to shoulder. At around 10pm the first emergency contact was made, when a witness reported seeing people fall on the ground and get trampled, while also reporting people gasping for air due to being crushed against the harsh crowd trying to push their way through. Following 11pm the police arrived determining a level 2 phase of emergency, which was around the time police tried to contact the stores and front concert to shut everything down.  

At around 12am something horrific happened. Somewhere at the bottom of this narrow strip a person feels over due to people trying tp push through, everyone behind this person falls as well resulting in a domino effect. By the time everyone had fallen the person at the bottom was being crushed by 6 rows of other people. Emergency aid could not get to these people, nor could they pull them out once on scene. The crowding was so heavy, reporters quoted to hear people screaming for help, and the soft whimpers of the people at the bottom suffocating under the crushing weight. 

Hours after the crowd crushing medical aid had finally got to the last row of people, while others were found in lines performing CPR on many people waiting for medical help to come. By the end of the night rows were formed of body bags, today medical aid continues to go back to the accident attempting to find identification for those lost in the accident. Of all 151 only 20 have been claimed as of 9am on October 30th. For more information follow these links below.