Australian among those killed during South Korea’s Halloween celebrations | South Korea


An Australian is among more than 150 people who have died in the South Korean capital after a stampede during Halloween celebrations.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed it was notified of the Australian’s death in Seoul on Saturday evening local time.

A spokesperson said consular authorities were providing assistance to the family of the deceased.

They are also working to help other Australians at the event.

“The Australian Government sends its condolences to the family and others affected by this tragic incident,” the spokesperson said.

The the disaster happened as a huge crowd celebrating Halloween on Saturday night poured down an alleyway in a part of town popular with young people, expats and travellers.

“Our heartfelt condolences to all affected by this terrible tragedy,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted on Sunday ahead of the news of the Australian’s death.

Also earlier on Sunday, Australia’s Ambassador to Seoul, Catherine Raper, joined Albanese in conveying Australia’s condolences to the South Korean government, calling the incident “tragic”.

“We are asking all Australians in Seoul to check in with friends and family to let them know where you are,” Raper tweeted.

More than 80 people were injured, many seriously, in the melee around 10:30 p.m. in Seoul’s Itaewon district.

Choi Sung-beom, chief of the Yongsan fire station, said many of the victims were women in their twenties, according to Reuters.

Up to 19 foreigners were among the dead, including Chinese, Iranian, Uzbek and Norwegian citizens.

It was the first Halloween event in Seoul in three years after the country lifted Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing.

Many revelers wore Halloween masks and costumes. Some witnesses said the crowd grew increasingly unruly as the night progressed.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has declared a period of national mourning.

The disaster is one of the country’s deadliest since the sinking of a ferry in 2014 that killed 304 people, mostly high school students.

Australians concerned about the welfare of loved ones in Seoul can call the Dfat consular emergency center on 1300 555 135. Those outside Australia can call +61 2 6261 3305.


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