Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(3rd LD) Yoon announces national mourning period over Itaewon stampede

All News 13:09 October 30, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with dates of mourning period, other details in paras 5-7)
By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday announced a period of national mourning and ordered the lowering of flags after a deadly stampede killed at least 151 people, including 19 foreigners, during Halloween celebrations in Seoul the previous day.

Yoon addressed the nation live from the presidential office a day after a crowd surge in a narrow alley in Itaewon crushed scores of young revelers, many in their 20s.

"It's truly horrific," Yoon said, saying Saturday's "tragedy and disaster should never have happened."

"As president, who is responsible for the people's lives and safety, my heart is heavy and I struggle to cope with my grief," he said. "The government will designate the period from today until the accident is brought under control as a period of national mourning and will place top priority in administrative affairs in recovery and follow-up measures."

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo later told reporters that the mourning period would last from Sunday until Saturday at Yoon's instructions and that a mourning altar would be set up in downtown Seoul to allow people to pay tribute to the victims.

Han spoke following a government response meeting presided over by Yoon, saying those injured and families of the victims would also receive financial assistance in line with Yongsan Ward's designation as a special disaster zone.

During the mourning period, all public servants will be required to wear mourning ribbons.

Yoon expressed his condolences over the deaths and wished a speedy recovery for the injured, saying in his address that the government will support funeral preparations and fully mobilize emergency medical services to treat patients, including by assigning public servants individually to those requiring assistance.

"The most important thing is to determine the cause of the accident and prevent similar accidents," he said. "We will thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident and make fundamental improvements so that similar accidents do not happen again in the future."

Yoon also said he will instruct the interior ministry and other relevant ministries to carry out an emergency review of all Halloween celebrations and other local festivals to ensure they are conducted in an orderly and safely manner.

Immediately after the address, Yoon visited the site of the accident before heading to the government complex in central Seoul to preside over the government response meeting.

He also ordered all government offices to lower their flags to half-mast, according to his office.

President Yoon Suk-yeol addresses the nation on the deadly stampede in Itaewon from the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 30, 2022. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol addresses the nation on the deadly stampede in Itaewon from the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 30, 2022. (Yonhap)


Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!