At least 146 people have died and 150 are injured after being crushed into a crowd during Halloween festivities in Seoul, South Korean officials have said, as the death toll in the tragedy continues to rise.
The victims are mostly in their 20s, according to the National Fire Agency.
More deaths were feared in the stampede, officials said in a previous update as the toll rose to 120 dead and 100 injured.
Many victims were transferred to local hospitals in cardiac arrest after emergency CPR, the agency said.
The casualties occurred in the Itaewon entertainment district on Saturday night, when a large crowd marched through the neighborhood’s narrow lanes, witnesses said.
The incident was first reported around 10:20 p.m. local time, officials said. It took time for the rescue teams to react due to the large crowd.
More than 100,000 people gathered for Halloween parties in the area, which is known for its nightclubs. The area has bars located along the narrow lanes that line the main street. People got stuck in these curved and slanted alleys, according to witnesses.
Bystander video from the scene showed a large emergency and police response to the district as a crowd of people, some in costume, were still gathered at the scene. CPR could be seen being performed on the street.
The cause of the crowds is under investigation, officials said.
The United States offered its support to South Korea in the wake of the tragedy.
“The reports from Seoul are heartbreaking,” said White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan. said on Twitter. “We are thinking of all those who have lost loved ones and hope for a speedy recovery for those injured. The United States stands ready to provide the Republic of Korea with any support it needs.”
President Joe Biden told reporters he had just heard of the incident and planned to issue a statement “when I know more.”
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.