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'Truly Disastrous': South Korea's President Declares National Week of Mourning after 153 Killed during Halloween Festival

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for ChristianHeadlines.com | Monday, October 31, 2022
'Truly Disastrous': South Korea's President Declares National Week of Mourning after 153 Killed during Halloween Festival

'Truly Disastrous': South Korea's President Declares National Week of Mourning after 153 Killed during Halloween Festival


At least 153 people were killed on Saturday in a stampede at a Halloween festival in Seoul, South Korea.

According to The Christian Post, the stampede was believed to have occurred after panic broke out among a reported crowd of tens of thousands of people gathered in the streets in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood.

South Korea's Ministry of Interior and Safety noted that at least 20 foreign nationals, including people from the United States, Norway, Australia, China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Iran, were among those who died.

As reported by Reuters, about 149 people were injured, with 33 of them in serious condition.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol declared a national week of mourning on Sunday. Meanwhile, investigations into the tragedy are underway.

"As a president responsible for the lives and safety of the people, my heart is heavy, and I find it difficult to contain my deep sorrow," Yoon said in an emergency statement to the nation.

"This was truly disastrous," he lamented. "Last night in the center of Seoul on Halloween, a tragedy and disaster that should have never happened occurred."

"I pray that those who died in the incident rest in peace and that those who were injured quickly recover," Yoon added. "I also offer my deep condolences to the bereaved families of the victims who are grieving the loss of their loved ones."

Yoon also announced that medical support would be given to those injured and funeral support to the families of those killed in the stampede.

Many world leaders have expressed their condolences following Saturday's tragedy.

"Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in Seoul. We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea and send our best wishes for a quick recovery to all those who were injured," President Joe Biden said in a statement.

"We are deeply shocked and very sad that many people, including youths, lost their precious lives in the extremely horrific accident that occurred in Seoul's Itaewon area," Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, according to Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"On behalf of the Japanese government and people, I express my condolences to the victims and their bereaved families."

On Sunday, the newly elected U.K. Prime Minister tweeted, "All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time."

"Heartfelt thoughts for the residents of Seoul and the Korean people after the tragedy at Itaewon. France is at your side," French President Emmanuel Macron also tweeted.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chung Sung-Jun/Staff


Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.