2 Americans among At Least 150 Killed In Seoul Halloween Crowd Surge

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South Korea mourned Monday, after more than 150 people died in a Seoul Halloween celebration. Authorities claimed that a crowd surge had forced celebrants into a narrow alley.

Officials said that at least 130 people were hurt, some critically. They also feared that the death toll could rise over the next few days.

Among those crushed to death were two American students and South Korean actor Lee Ji-han, 24, best known as a contestant on the reality talent show “Produce 101.”

Americans Killed in South Korea’s Crowd Surge Identified 

Americans Anne Gieske and Steven Blesi were among the dead. Both were students abroad.

Blesi, a Kennesaw State University junior hailing from Georgia, had just started his studies two months earlier.

His family shared that he was passionately interested in international business and wanted him to become multilingual so that he could work in East Asia.

Blesi’s anguished father Steve Blesi told The New York Times that learning of his son’s death “was like it stabbed like a hundred million times simultaneously.” “It was like your world just collapsing. It was numb and devastating all at the same time,” he said.

Gieske was a 20-year-old University of Kentucky nursing student who had just celebrated her birthday on Oct. 28.

“The University of Kentucky community is grieving the tragic loss of one of our students, Anne Gieske, who was studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea, and was killed in this weekend’s tragedy,”Eli Capilouto was the president.“We have been in contact with her family and will provide whatever support we can—now and in the days ahead—as they cope with this indescribable loss.”

The South Korea Crowd Sustumption is a global reaction and the world asks: How could this happen?

The tragedy that struck the East Asian nation on Saturday shocked many and brought out condolences from leaders around the world, including U.S. President Joe Biden of Great Britain and King Charles of England. More than a dozen embassies from around the world have confirmed that the victims were from their country.

Around 100,000 people attended the Itaewon celebration, many of whom were teenagers or people in their 20s. The cause of the panicked response is unknown. Authorities and witnesses claim that celebrants got trapped in an alleyway.

Seoul crowd surge: Emergency workers tend to the wounded. – Getty

CPR was carried out by emergency personnel in the street amid crumpled bodies. President Yoon Suk Yeol declared national mourning to help the country cope with the death of his son.

“When we arrived, we were only able to see seven, eight — no, 10— rows of faces, we couldn’t even see their legs,” a first responder told CNN.

The first emergency workers to rescue people who were at the bottom of heaps of people were the ones who saved them. “we thought they were most urgent,” the first responder said. “When we were pulling them out, they were becoming delirious. And when we laid them (down), most of them were unconscious,”He stated. 

South Korean President Kim Jong Un said that officials from the government would be rehabilitated. “conduct emergency inspections not only for Halloween events but also for local festivals and thoroughly manage them so they are conducted in an orderly and safe manner.”

Some wondered why authorities couldn’t manage the crowds at Halloween, an event that was hugely popular but had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is a Crowd Surge?

Crowd surge or crowd crush is a sudden and powerful movement that some liken to feeling the waves or ocean tide. This happens when there are too many people packed together in a tight pace. Sometimes, it is a person falling or pushing towards the front of the crowd. People pushing into one another from different points can cause crowd surges or crushes. This makes it difficult to breathe because they need space to expand their lungs.

It takes approximately six minutes for you to enter restrictive or compressive asphyxia. This is what causes crowd crush deaths. G. Keith Still (a crowd safety expert and visiting professor of Crowd Science at the University of Suffolk, England) said. The Washington Post. 

People die standing, and people who fall in chaos can also die. This is because of the pressure created by the bodies that are on top of them. It can make breathing difficult. 

“As people struggle to get up, arms and legs get twisted together. Blood supply starts to be reduced to the brain,” Still told NPR in the past year Astroworld was hit by a large crowd, resulting in the deaths of 10 people. 

A crowd surge is similar to drowning but it happens in a sea instead of water.  

 

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