World leaders grieve deadly Halloween crowd surge in Seoul

Oct 30, 2022, 1:43 AM | Updated: 6:07 am
Flowers are seen near the scene of a deadly accident in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, ...

Flowers are seen near the scene of a deadly accident in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, following Saturday night's Halloween festivities. A mass of mostly young people celebrating Halloween festivities in Seoul became trapped and crushed as the crowd surged into a narrow alley, killing dozens of people and injuring dozens of others in South Korea's worst disaster in years. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

HONG KONG (AP) — World leaders expressed sadness and condolences after at least 151 people were killed in a crowd surge Saturday night in Seoul, South Korea.

The tragedy occurred in Seoul’s Itaewon district during Halloween festivities when a huge crowd surged into a narrow downhill alley. At least 82 others were injured in the South Korea’s deadliest accident in years.

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden sent their “deepest condolences” to the families of the deceased.

“We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea and wish for a quick recovery to all those who were injured,” said President Biden in a tweet. “The United States stands with the Republic of Korea during this tragic time.”

Similarly, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the news from Seoul as “horrific” on Twitter.

“All our thoughts are with those currently responding and all South Koreans at this very distressing time,” Sunak wrote.

Itaewon’s international character was shaped by its proximity to a U.S. military garrison nearby. The area is still home to restaurants, bars and other businesses catering to the American community in Seoul.

U.S. Forces Korea, which commands the sizable American military presence in the country, expressed its condolences in a Facebook post.

“The Itaewon community has opened its arms to us for many years and is part of the reason our Alliance is so strong,” the command said, writing in English and Korean. “During this time of grief, we will be there for you just as you have been there for us.”

Leaders from countries including Japan, France, China and Singapore reacted with shock and sadness over the tragedy in Seoul.

“I’m hugely shocked and deeply saddened by the extremely tragic accident in Itaewon, Seoul, that took many precious lives, including those of young people with their future ahead of them,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a tweet.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron — who tweeted in both French and in Korean — offered support to Seoul residents and South Korea.

“France is with you,” he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed similar sentiments on Twitter, sending his “deepest condolences” to the people of South Korea “and wishing a fast and full recovery to those who were injured.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping also sent condolences to South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, expressing condolences and shock over the accident in Seoul, according to a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry. He also expressed condolences to the victims of the accident and their families.

Hong Kong leader John Lee said in a statement on Facebook that he was saddened by the accident in Seoul.

“I express profound sorrow over the passing of the victims, extend my deepest condolences to their families and wish for a speedy recovery to all those who were injured,” said Lee.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the “tragic events in Seoul come as a shock to all of us.”

“Our thoughts are with the numerous victims and their families,” Scholz said in a tweet. “This is a sad day for South Korea. Germany stands by their side.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she was “heartbroken” by the tragic news from Seoul.

“They were looking for a night of lighthearted Halloween festivities but instead found real horror and death,” said Baerbock. “My thoughts are with the victims, their friends and families, and those who still fear for their loved ones.”

Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob described the loss of lives as “tragic” and said it was “hard to imagine” the trauma and grief experienced by the families, loved ones and friends of those affected.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of South Korea during this difficult time, and I wish a quick and full recovery to all those who are injured,” she said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Debris is seen at the scene where people died and were injured in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. after a mass of mostly young people celebrating Halloween festivities became trapped and crushed as the crowd surged into a narrow alley. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              Police officers inspect the scene where people died and were injured in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, after a mass of mostly young people celebrating Halloween festivities in Seoul became trapped and crushed as the crowd surged into a narrow alley. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
            
              South Korean national flags fly at half-mast at the government complex in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. A mass of mostly young people celebrating Halloween festivities in Seoul became trapped and crushed as the crowd surged into a narrow alley, killing dozens of people and injuring dozens of others in South Korea's worst disaster in years. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              Flowers are seen near the scene of a deadly accident in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, following Saturday night's Halloween festivities. A mass of mostly young people celebrating Halloween festivities in Seoul became trapped and crushed as the crowd surged into a narrow alley, killing dozens of people and injuring dozens of others in South Korea's worst disaster in years. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

AP

A woman pumps gas at a GetGo Mini Mart in Valencia, Pa., on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Tuesday, the ...
Associated Press

US consumer confidence lags as 2023 gets under way

American consumers are kicking off 2023 a bit less confident than they were at the end of last year as inflation and the possibility of a recession loom. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to a still-optimistic 107.1 in January, down from 109 in December. Last month’s reading was the […]
9 hours ago
The Southern Poverty Law Center's Esteban Gil poses for a portrait at Jefferson Recreation Center i...
Associated Press

Why workers at growing number of nonprofits are unionizing

Over his six years at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Esteban Gil watched colleague after colleague leave. Part of it was the nature of the work: helping people in immigrant detention and in prison. It is high-stakes, high-stress work. But there was also something deeply wrong with the way the group operated and the very […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Abortion-rights protestors march between the Indiana Statehouse and the Indiana State Librar...
Associated Press

Indiana justices won’t hear 2nd abortion case for now

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s high court said it will not immediately consider a challenge to the state’s abortion ban that is based on the argument that the law violates some people’s religious freedoms, leaving that decision to an appeals court, at least for now. The state Supreme Court issued an order Monday saying the state […]
9 hours ago
Pope Francis on a wheelchair is flanked by Congolese Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, center right, as ...
Associated Press

Pope’s Africa trip spotlights conflict, and church’s future

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis began a six-day visit to Congo and South Sudan on Tuesday, aiming to bring a message of peace to two countries riven by poverty, conflict and what Francis has called a lingering “colonialist mentality” that still considers Africa ripe for exploitation. Francis landed at Kinshasa’s airport and was greeted […]
9 hours ago
FILE - A logo on a vehicle at a Ford dealership in Springfield, Pa., Tuesday, April 26, 2022. The U...
Associated Press

US probes complaints of parts flying off of Ford Explorers

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints that windshield trim panels can fly off of Ford Explorers while they’re traveling at highway speeds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 164 complaints about the trim pieces detaching on 2011 through 2019 Explorer SUVs. The probe covers about 1.86 […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Elon Musk departs the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House in San F...
Associated Press

Tesla gets Justice Department subpoena for self-driving cars

The U.S. Justice Department has requested documents from Tesla Inc. related to its Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” features, according to a regulatory filing. “To our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred,” Tesla said in the filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Austin, Texas-based electric […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
World leaders grieve deadly Halloween crowd surge in Seoul