Seoul authorities have collected hundreds of items left at the site of the mob that killed 153 people on Halloween night, so that the families of the victims can pick them up. Shoes, headphones, passports: so many traces left by revelers whose state of health is unknown.
Hundreds of objects, carefully sorted, labeled and now preserved. In this Seoul gymnasium, relatives of victims can come to try to identify the personal effects of those injured or deceased at the scene of the mob that killed more than 150 people on October 29 as part of the celebrations of the Halloween party.
“We collected as many items as possible in case they belonged to the victims,” said Seoul police officer Jang Young-sik.
In the popular district of Itaewon, where the tragedy occurred, the police collected nearly a ton and a half of objects lost in the movement of the crowd. Families, who are carrying out the funerals of their loved ones this week, can now collect them from a gymnasium, itself briefly used to collect bodies there.
On tables and tarpaulins installed in the gymnasium, we discover the clothes, headphones, glasses, lipsticks, electronic cigarettes, passports or even Halloween masks left by the revelers on the site of the stampede, without our knowing if their owners are among the victims.
Most of the victims lost their lives in a narrow alley. Witnesses said that, with no police or crowd control at the location, disoriented people who came to celebrate Halloween pushed and shoved each other, not realizing that others were falling to the ground and found themselves trapped, trampled and crushed to the ground. dead.
While rescuers arrived on the scene and managed to extricate victims from the entanglement of bodies, shoes were misplaced and clothes torn for resuscitation to be carried out.
Inside the gymnasium, the police stored 260 clothes, sometimes pieces of Halloween costumes, and 256 pairs of shoes. Many objects are crumpled or soiled, and several shoes show bloodstains.
All objects have been carefully labelled, but only a few show the name of their former owner.
“Some families came and left in tears” with the personal belongings of their loved ones, said a policeman present in the gymnasium.
At least 26 of the victims were foreign nationals, notably from Iran, the United States or France. Among the lost items is a Russian translation of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”. The Russian Embassy in South Korea reported that three young Russian women died in the crowd movement.
Coming for the party with friends, the majority of the victims were in their twenties, a generation that has gone through two years of upheaval in their studies due to the pandemic.
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