November 01, 2022 09:33
Police have launched an investigation of the deadly Halloween stampede in Seoul's Itaewon entertainment district last Saturday night that left at least 155 mostly young people dead and scores of others injured.
Investigators are analyzing footage taken from several CCTV cameras near the scene of the tragedy as well as witness accounts pointing to people who may have pushed the crowd and triggered the crush.
Nam Gu-jun at the National Police Agency told reporters that police are analyzing footage from 52 CCTV cameras near Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon and are interviewing dozens of witnesses, including employees of stores in the area and injured partygoers.
CCTV footage shows that the steep, narrow alley next to Hamilton Hotel became impassable by 10:11 p.m. due to the huge crowds, and some partygoers can be spotted rushing into nearby shops six minutes later to escape the suffocating conditions.
"One woman fell at the entrance to the alley, while others shouted out pleas to stop pushing, but their voices went unheard in all the noise and crowds continued to pour in," one witness said.
Police are looking into accounts that some people began pushing the crowd on purpose. "Some witnesses say they heard someone yelling 'push!' while others say they heard no such thing," a police officer said. "We are analyzing not only CCTV camera footage but video clips on social media to look into all possibilities."
One of the victims succumbed to her injuries in hospital on Monday, bringing the death toll to 155.
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