Investigators continue to piece together the exact chain of events that led to the deaths of at least 151 people during the investigation. Obvious crowding In Seoul’s Itaewon district on Saturday night, an expert suggested there may have been “any trigger moment”.
According to the local fire chief, tens of thousands of people celebrated Halloween on the streets of the South Korean capital, and many of them flocked to the nightlife district of Itaewon – an area both are known for. Vibrant night life as well as its narrow streets and alleys.
Witnesses say tight streets and alleys are overflowing as people gather outside bars, pubs and restaurants.
At some point, many people appeared to have tried to leave the area — officials said there were no gas leaks or fires at the scene when emergency calls were first received at 10:24 p.m. that people were “buried.”
Juliet Khayyem, a disaster management expert and national security analyst for CNN, said the city’s density may have played a role in the tragedy.
Keim said the combination of narrow streets and dead ends “would certainly have been deadly” in a panic situation, adding that people in Seoul would not have seen the danger because they were used to crowds.
“People in Seoul are used to being in crowded places, and they may not be completely panicked by crowded streets.”
Panic is often a factor in such tragedies, he said, adding that “when panic sets in and you have nowhere to go, you’re likely to get crushed.”
However, when such panics occur, “a lot of times, there’s no trigger moment,” he added.
However, he said that while it was difficult to pinpoint what had prompted the crackdown, officials “would have expected a higher number before Saturday night.”
“The authorities have the responsibility to monitor the crowd numbers in real-time so they can sense the need to evacuate people,” Keim said.
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