At least 146 people were killed and 150 injured during a Halloween celebration in Seoul on Saturday night that was crowded with people, according to the Yongsan Fire Department chief.
Below are the latest developments.
Death toll could rise: Local health officials say the death toll could rise as local hospitals are treating dozens of people injured in Seoul’s Halloween emergency. Choi Jae-won, director of Yongsan Health Center, added that the cause of the casualties in the incident had not been officially confirmed.
Officials blame crowd surge: Local fire officials described the emergency as a “presumptive stampede,” but the investigation has only just begun. Few details are provided about specific injuries. Yonhap News Agency reported that dozens of people suffered “cardiac arrest” and difficulty breathing.
Authorities said the emergency was not due to a gas leak or fire in the popular nightclub area. They began receiving reports of people being “buried” in the crowd around 10:24 p.m. local time Saturday (9:24 a.m. ET).
Witnesses observe chaotic scene: A witness said people were huddled in a narrow street, unable to breathe. “I saw people going to the left and I saw that person going to the opposite side,” Song Shixian told CNN. “The people in the middle are stuck, so they can’t communicate. They can’t breathe.”
CNN’s Will Ripley reported that a long line of stretchers lining the streets would be used to carry the bodies from the scene.