A Frightful Situation
An official from South Korea's National Fire Agency told AP the death toll could continue to rise from the accident, which occurred in Seoul's Itaewon leisure district. The official said the incident was believed to have begun when throngs of people began filing into a narrow alley near one of the city's most prominent party spots, the Hamilton Hotel.
The crowd soon became a massive human crush, officials said, requiring over 800 first responders from across the country to treat the injured at the scene. Video of the accident reportedly showed injured pedestrians lying in the street, many of them being tended to by paramedics. Police told AP that "dozens of people" were either being given CPR in the road or being taken to hospitals.
It is unclear what prompted the accident, though a local media outlet reportedly said it may have began when people began crowding a nearby bar after a celebrity unexpectedly showed up.
South Korean wire service Yonhap News Agency reported that South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol released a statement ordering a quick response, while also reviewing the safety of the potential festival sites.
The Halloween festival is often one of Seoul's largest events of the year, and BBC News says there were an estimated 100,000 festival-goers in the Itaewon district.
Update Oct. 29, 2022: This story has been continually updated to reflect the reported death toll from the accident.