PM Modi Expresses Deep Anguish Over South Korea’s Worst Stampede


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday wrote to South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and expressed deep anguish at the tragic loss of lives at the deadliest stampede in the country’s history which killed at least 153 people, including over 20 foreigners.

The stampede happened on Saturday night in a narrow downhill alley near Hamilton Hotel in the famous nightlife district in Seoul after tens of thousands of people visited the area for Halloween celebrations.

“PM @narendramodi in his letter to ROK President Yoon Suk Yeol @President_KR has expressed deep anguish at the tragic loss of lives at yesterday’s stampede incident in Seoul. He also conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the friends and families who lost their loved ones,” the Indian Embassy in South Korea tweeted on Sunday.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday condoled the loss of lives in the stampede, and said India stands in solidarity with that country during this difficult time.

“Deeply shocked at the loss of so many young lives due to the stampede in Seoul. Our condolences to the families of those who lost their dear ones,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.

“We stand in solidarity with the Republic of Korea during this difficult time,” he said.

At least 153 people have been killed and 133 others injured in a deadly stampede in Seoul’s Itaewon district as huge crowds of partygoers, many in their 20s, converged in the entertainment district for late-night Halloween celebrations.

The death toll could rise further, as 37 people sustained serious injuries, Yonhap news agency quoted officials as saying.

The stampede marked the worst tragedy in South Korea since the 2014 sinking of a ferry that killed 304 people, mostly high school students.

The number of foreigners killed in the stampede was 20, Yonhap reported, quoting the official tally from fire authorities.

They are four each from China and Iran; three from Russia; and one each from the United States, France, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Norway, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Austria, officials said.

According to a separate tally released by the South Korean foreign ministry, however, the number of foreigners killed by the stampede had stood at 26 as of 9 p.m., with victims having come from 14 countries. Fifteen other injured foreigners received treatment at nearby hospitals and six were still under treatment, while others were sent home, the report said.

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