What caused the stampede in Itaewon? Celebrity sighting theory explored

Itaewon saw over 150 people dead because of a stampede. (Image via Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Itaewon saw over 150 people dead because of a stampede (Image via Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The theory that the deadly stampede in Itaewon was caused by a celebrity sighting has left the internet divided.

On October 29, over 150 people, mostly young partygoers in their 20s, were crushed and left dead in a crowd surge in Seoul's famed nightlight district of Itaewon.

A narrow sloped alleyway saw tens of thousands of people gather for Halloween festivities when suddenly, hundreds began to fall to the ground and were trampled by other panic-stricken partygoers.

As per local media reports (via Daily Star UK), the tragic incident started at around 10:30 pm when several people surged into a bar after rumors circulated that a celebrity was visiting.


Twitterati is not buying the celebrity sighting theory in Itaewon stampede case

After the theory of a celebrity sighting being the reason behind the deadly stampede went viral, Twitter was left divided over the rumor. It is important to note that as of writing, no official cause of the stampede has been revealed by the South Korean authorities, but President Yoon Suk-yeol has commanded a full-fledged investigation into the matter so that it never happens again.

Several Twitter users rubbished the rumor that the crowd crush was caused by a celebrity, since the Itaewon area is known to spot several because of its party scenes. Users simply blamed the understaffed police force and the government for making rumors to avoid backlash.

However, some users supported the theory that the Itaewon stampede was caused by a celebrity without backing their claims.


Itaewon's festivities saw little to no restrictions for the first time in three years

As per the Times of India, local shopowners who have been in the area for almost 30 years, told AFP that this year's crowd was "unprecedentedly large." Furthermore, they revealed that a statement issued earlier by the police suggested only 200 police officers were stationed in the narrow-landed area.

While speaking with AFP, an eyewitness named Jarmil Taylor described the chaos in the Itaewon area.

"People couldn't move forward and were pushing and pushing, and it was a steep hill so people were falling on top of each other, collapsing on top of each other. People that were at the back were pushing and pushing because they had no idea what was going on in the front."

Videos that went viral on social media also showed the area jam packed, starting off peacefully before suddenly experiencing chaos with people pushing each other into a narrow lane that was already crowded with partygoers.

Unlike most stampedes where people die of suffocation, Seoul authorities said many victims suffered cardiac arrests due to the rush.

As reported by Sky News, the chief of Seoul's Yongsan fire department, Choi Seong-beom, stated that at least 50 people were treated for cardiac arrest.

"A number of people fell during a Halloween festival, and we have a large number of casualties."

The chief reported that the Itaewon stampede mostly includes women as victims, adding that they were killed near a nightclub. He also stated that emergency services were taking the bodies to gyms and hospitals for identification by their respective family members.

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