Death toll rises to 153 in South Korean stampede

South Korea declares national mourning period after deadliest stampede in country's history.

Death toll rises to 153 in South Korean stampede

At least 153 people have been killed, including at least 20 foreigners, in a deadly stampede in South Korea, according to media reports on Sunday.

A total of 82 others, with 19 in serious condition, were also injured, said Yonhap News Agency, citing fire authorities.

At least 97 women were killed in the stampede, according to Choi Seong-beom, chief of Seoul's Yongsan fire department.

The foreigners killed in the deadliest stampede in South Korea's history include nationals from China, Iran, Russia, the US, Uzbekistan, and Norway,

While fire authorities said the number of foreign nationals killed has risen to 22, the country's Interior Ministry said the figure is at 20, according to Yonhap.

South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol declared a national mourning period following the deadly accident.

"It's truly horrific," said Yoon, adding that the "tragedy and disaster should never have happened."

Victims in their 20s accounted for the age group most affected by the accident, authorities said.

The Seoul metropolitan government said it received 355 missing reports related to the stampede.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon cut short his trip to Europe to return home, the news agency noted, citing his office.

The stampede occurred near the Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon's entertainment zone Saturday night after a large number of people were believed to have entered a narrow alley.

Tens of thousands of people were visiting the area for Halloween parties.

It was the first Halloween event in Seoul in three years after South Korea lifted many coronavirus restrictions.

Türkiye on Sunday conveyed its condolences for those dead and wounded in the stampede.

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the relatives of those who have lost their lives as well as to the friendly people and the Government of the Republic of Korea and wish a speedy recovery to the injured," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Hüseyin Demir

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