Mourners pay respects as 154 folks confirmed lifeless within the catastrophe, which happened throughout Halloween celebrations in Seoul.
South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has promised a radical investigation into the Halloween crush over the weekend that killed greater than 150 folks within the capital and plunged the nation into mourning.
Officers mentioned on Monday the dying toll had risen to 154, with 149 folks injured, 33 of them in critical situation.
Tens of hundreds of individuals had crowded into the slim streets and alleyways of Seoul’s in style Itaewon district on Saturday for the primary main Halloween festivities because the COVID-19 pandemic struck three years in the past.
Lots of the revellers have been of their teenagers and wearing Halloween costumes.
However chaos erupted when folks poured into one notably slim and sloping alley, even after it was already packed, witnesses mentioned.
On Monday morning, folks laid white chrysanthemums, drinks and candles exterior an exit of the Itaewon metro station, just a few steps away from the location of the crush.
“It doesn’t matter how they died, or why they died. These poor folks, all at related ages to my grandchildren, they died anyway,” mentioned Jung Si-hoon, a retiree and a church elder, who positioned an previous wood cross on the makeshift altar.
“What extra ought to we are saying? We must always pray for them and want they relaxation in peace.”
Outlets and cafés close by have been closed, and police cordoned off the location of the tragedy as they continued their investigations.
Colleges, kindergartens and firms across the nation scrapped deliberate Halloween occasions. Ok-pop concert events and authorities briefings have been additionally cancelled.
“The federal government will undertake a radical investigation into what brought about this accident and do its finest to make essential institutional modifications in order that such an accident is just not repeated,” Prime Minister Han mentioned as authorities officers met on the catastrophe.
“Identification has been accomplished for all the 154 deceased besides one, and I consider it’s time for follow-up measures equivalent to funeral procedures to be carried out in earnest,” Han mentioned. “We are going to do our greatest to offer essential assist by reflecting the opinions of the bereaved households as a lot as attainable.”
President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has declared a interval of nationwide mourning and designated Itaewon a catastrophe zone, visited a memorial altar exterior the Seoul metropolis corridor along with his spouse on Monday to pay his respects to those that died. Former United Nations Secretary-Common Ban Ki-moon was additionally amongst these expressing their condolences.
The crush of partygoers got here as Itaewon, a logo of freewheeling nightlife within the South Korean capital for many years, was starting to recuperate from extended pandemic restrictions with new eating places and outlets opening.
The catastrophe is the worst in South Korea because the Sewol ferry sank in 2014, killing 304 folks, most of them highschool college students.
The sinking of the Sewol and criticism of the official response despatched shockwaves throughout South Korea, prompting widespread soul-searching over security measures which can be prone to be renewed within the wake of Saturday’s crush.