South Korea Halloween crush kills 120, injures 100

More than 100 people have died in a crush among huge Halloween crowds in a popular nightlife area of South Korea’s capital, officials say.

The death toll jumped from 59 to 120 in the last hour, with local media reporting a further 100 injured.

Videos from Seoul’s Itaewon district show body bags on the streets, emergency workers performing CPR, and rescuers trying to pull people trapped beneath others.

It is not known what caused the crush.

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol has called an emergency meeting.

Meanwhile Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul’s Yongsan fire department, told the AP news agency that the bodies of 13 dead had been sent to hospital while the other 46 remained on the streets.There were reportedly 100,000 revellers in the area celebrating the first outdoor no-mask Halloween event since the pandemic.

Social media messages posted earlier in the evening show some people remarking that the Itaewon area was so crowded that it felt unsafe.

The BBC’s Hosu Lee, who visited the scene, said he saw “a lot of medial staff, a lot of ambulances, they were taking the bodies away one by one”.

Mr Lee said there were thousands among the crowds, and a number of bodies covered in blue sheets, alongside a “ton of police”.

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