How did 158 people die at a Halloween party in Seoul on October 29? This is the question that the Washington Post teams have tried to answer, which have delved into the details of the night of the tragedy thanks to the testimonies of the victims and almost 350 videos and photos. The journalistic investigation is damning for the authorities and testifies once again to the lack of preparation and reaction on their part. The document, which offers a minute-by-minute account of the night of the tragedy, confirms that the disaster could have been avoided.
With our correspondent in Seoul, Nicolas Rocca.
The first of the hundreds of videos analyzed by the Washington Post teams is dated at 6:28 p.m. on October 29, and the alley is full to overflowing. At the same time, the police received a first call warning of the danger of people being crushed to death by the crowd.
Almost three hours later, at 10:08 p.m., the catastrophe began; by then, 13 emergency calls had already been made to the police. But that night there were only 137 police officers in the area, leading to a serious failure in the first aid response.
For almost 30 long minutes, access to the alley was not blocked and more people continued to arrive, which made the situation worse. A video shows a lone policeman desperately trying to push the crowd away. “People are dying, stand back, please cooperate,” says the policeman.
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