Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra both sent their condolences to South Koreans after a deadly stampede at a Seoul Halloween parade on Saturday. At least 151 people are reported to have died in the crowds and around 82 people were injured.
“Shocked and saddened by the news of the tragic incident in Seoul that claimed the lives of so many Koreans,” Rutte tweeted. “My thoughts go out to the people of South Korea and especially to the families who lost loved ones today.”
Shocked and saddened by the news of the tragic incident in #Seoul that claimed the lives of so many Koreans. My thoughts go out to the people of South Korea and especially to the families who lost loved ones today.
Hoekstra also said on Twitter that he was shocked by the event. “It is a tragedy that an innocent evening of Halloween celebrations turned deadly so abruptly.”
Joanne Doornewaard, the Netherlands’ ambassador to South Korea, also reacted to the stampede. “What should have been a nice Halloween party after years of COVID restrictions, ended in a horror scene. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and with those who are waiting eagerly for more info on their loved ones.”
The Halloween celebration in Seoul’s Itaewon district attracted a crowd of around 100,000 people. It was the first Halloween party in three years, as a result of coronavirus pandemic restrictions recently being lifted. The large crowds caused a stampede on a slope, according to the Guardian.
The death toll climbed overnight as many people injured in the crush passed away. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol declared an official day of mourning on Sunday, according to the Guardian.
© 2012-2022, NL Times, All rights reserved.