On Monday, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo pledged a comprehensive inquiry into the Halloween crush in the nation's capital that killed more than 150 people, largely young people, and plunged the country into sadness.
Officials reported 154 fatalities, 149 injuries, and 33 individuals in critical condition.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of revelers crammed into the small streets and alleys of the famed Itaewon neighborhood in Seoul for the first virtually unrestrained Halloween celebrations in three years. Many of the partygoers were teenagers dressed in costume.
Witnesses reported that commotion ensued when people surged into a particularly small and sloping alley when it was already crowded.
Han stated when government officials convened to discuss the incident, "The government will conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the causes of this accident and make every effort to implement the required institutional adjustments to prevent a recurrence."
"Identification has been accomplished for all but one of the 154 deceased, and I believe it is now time for follow-up actions such as funeral arrangements," Han stated. We will do our best to provide the required support by reflecting as much as possible on the opinions of the bereaved families.
President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has declared a time of national mourning and designated Itaewon as a disaster zone, visited a memorial altar near the Seoul city hall on Monday and paid his respects to the victims, according to a statement from his office.