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26 foreigners found dead from Itaewon disaster

Police officers investigate the scene of the Itaewon crush on Sunday morning. (Yonhap)
Police officers investigate the scene of the Itaewon crush on Sunday morning. (Yonhap)

At least 26 foreign nationals are among the 155 confirmed deaths from Saturday night's crowd crush that occurred amid Halloween celebrations in Seoul's Itaewon.

According to authorities, foreign casualties stood at 26 as of Monday. They are from Iran, China, the US, Japan, France, Australia, Norway, Vietnam, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Austria and Russia.

Foreign Minister Park Jin ordered officials to urgently notify relevant embassies in Seoul of the current status of foreign casualties related to the Itaewon crush.

"As the identity of the casualties is still being identified, there is a possibility that the number of foreign casualties will increase further,” said an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “In close consultation with the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters, We will promptly make the necessary follow-up measures regarding foreign casualties.”

Around 100,000 people were in the entertainment district throughout the day on Saturday to celebrate the first Halloween weekend without masking and social distancing measures since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the government would declare Yongsan-gu, Seoul a special disaster area and provide necessary support, including for bereaved families and the injured.

“Regarding foreign casualties, we will actively consult with diplomatic missions abroad to ensure that there is no shortage of support,” Han said.

If you have family, acquaintances or friends who cannot be reached after participating in the Itaewon Halloween Festival on Oct. 29, please contact one of the numbers below.

-Seoul 120 Call Center: 02-120 (services in English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolian)

-Hannam-dong Community Service Center 02-2199-8660 / 02-2199-6664 ~ 8867 / 02-2199-5165 ~ 5168



By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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