Trembling hand of fire chief as he announces grim death toll after Halloween stampede in South Korea
- A firefighter in South Korea appeared to tremble as he gave a press conference
- More than 150 people died in a stampede in Seoul, triggering massive relief efforts
- Choi Seong-beom, Yongsan fire chief, gave updates on death toll
A video shows a firefighter in South Korea shaking as he gives a press conference about the Halloween stampede that killed more than 150 people.
Last night, 153 people died in a crush in Seoul, with another 82 injured, as huge crowds gathered in the popular Itaewon nightlife area for a Halloween festival.
Footage of Yongsan fire chief Choi Seong-beom calmly informing the media that the crowd’s death toll had risen has been widely shared online.
The “heartbreaking” video, shot just hours after the fatal incident, shows the exhausted rescuer trembling slightly while holding the microphone.
Online, people responded to the video to share their condolences with Choi Seong-beom and other first responders who attended the traumatic incident.
More than 1,700 first responders were deployed from across South Korea to respond to one of the deadliest crowds in recent history – including about 520 firefighters, 1,100 police officers and 70 government employees.
More images looking out over the street showed dozens of rescuers desperately working to administer CPR to victims lying in the street.
Yongsan’s fire chief, Choi Seong-beom, appeared to be shaking as he briefed the media on the stampede that left at least 153 dead in Seoul.
The firefighter provided an update on the crowd’s death toll in the early morning hours
Online, people noticed that Choi Seong-beom’s hand was shaking as he held the microphone and suggested that it may have been due to the traumatic nature of the incident
Spectators, police and paramedics gathered where dozens of people went into cardiac arrest, in the popular nightlife area of Itaewon
Due to the magnitude of the emergency response in Seoul, aid workers from all over the country were called in, including 140 ambulances
Left: The alley can be seen early on Sunday morning. It remained cordoned off as police continued their investigation into the tragedy. Right: The same alley can be seen shortly before the crush. Hundreds of people are shown packed
The account that shared the video online said: “I’m concerned about the trauma of everyone who was on the scene. I hope that the country will take responsibility and support trauma treatment after the accident of all the personnel deployed in the field today.”
Racheal said, “You know it’s traumatic when the head of the fire department has trembling hands.”
Another user tweeted, “As a first responder in a horrific catastrophic event in the midst of a party, it would affect even those accustomed to tragedy.”
Reid said, “I feel for him… can you imagine being him? I certainly pray for all law enforcement officers, first responders and others who have responded to the tragedy.”
One Twitter user suggested his hands may be shaking from the CPR, while another said, “This is heartbreaking. I hope they all get free therapy sessions.”
Aid workers struggled to treat the high number of victims due to the narrow and busy streets
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (center) attends an emergency meeting after the tragic crowd in Seoul
A man bows as he mourns on the street from a deadly stampede at a Halloween festival
Police gather on the scene a day after a deadly stampede that left 153 dead and dozens injured
South Korea has now declared a week of mourning after people reportedly “fell like dominoes” around 10:30 p.m. during the fatal fallout at the Halloween festival, where a 100,000-strong crowd gathered in narrow streets.
Dozens of people are reported to have suffered cardiac arrest and the current death toll stands at 153, including at least 19 foreign nationals, with many of the victims being women in their 20s.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol declared national mourning week, saying after visiting the site earlier today that the deadly stampede “shouldn’t have happened.”
“A tragedy and disaster has occurred in central Seoul that should not have happened,” Yoon said in a national speech, promising to “examine the incident thoroughly” and ensure it could never happen again.
Reports from last night also describe how some revelers continued to party in the neighborhood after the crush – despite desperate pleas from police to go home.