Trembling hand of fire chief as he announces death toll after South Korea Halloween stampede


Trembling hand of fire chief as he announces grim death toll after South Korea Halloween stampede: Official is filmed shaking uncontrollably during briefing to press in wake of tragedy

  • A fireman in South Korea appeared to tremble as he gave a press briefing
  • Over 150 died in a stampede in Seoul, sparking a huge emergency response 
  • Choi Seong-beom, chief Yongsan fire department, gave updates on death toll

A video shows a fireman in South Korea trembling as he gives a press briefing about the Halloween stampede that killed over 150 people.

Last night 153 people died in a crush in Seoul, with another 82 injured, as huge crowds gathered in the popular nightlife area Itaewon for a Halloween festival.

Footage of Chief of Yongsan Fire Department Choi Seong-beom informing the media in calm manner that the death toll of the crowd crush had risen has been shared widely online.

The ‘heartbreaking’ video, which was taken several hours after the deadly incident occurred, shows the exhausted emergency worker slightly shaking as he holds the microphone.

Online people responded to the video to share their sympathies with Choi Seong-beom and other emergency workers who attended the traumatic incident.

More than 1,700 emergency workers were deployed from across South Korea to respond to one of the deadliest crowd crushes in recent history – including about 520 firefighters, 1,100 police officers and 70 government workers. 

More footage overlooking the street showed dozens of emergency responders working desperately to administer CPR to victims lying on the street.

South Korea’s Chief of Yongsan Fire Department Choi Seong-beom appeared to shake as he gave the media a briefing on the stampede that killed at least 153 in Seoul

The fireman was delivering an update on the death toll from the crowd crush in the early hours of the morning

The fireman was delivering an update on the death toll from the crowd crush in the early hours of the morning

Online, people noticed Choi Seong-beom's hand was shaking as he held the microphone and suggested it may be due to the traumatic nature of the incident

Online, people noticed Choi Seong-beom’s hand was shaking as he held the microphone and suggested it may be due to the traumatic nature of the incident 

Onlookers, police and paramedics gathered where dozens of people suffered cardiac arrest, in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon

Onlookers, police and paramedics gathered where dozens of people suffered cardiac arrest, in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon

The scale of the emergency response in Seoul saw emergency workers called from across the country, including 140 ambulances

The scale of the emergency response in Seoul saw emergency workers called from across the country, including 140 ambulances

Pictured: The alleyway is seen early on Sunday morning. It remained cordoned off as police continued their investigations into the tragedy

Images from shortly before the stampede show hundreds of people packed into the tiny alleyway

Left: The alleyway is seen early on Sunday morning. It remained cordoned off as police continued their investigations into the tragedy. Right: The same alleyway is seen shortly before the crush. Hundreds of people are shown packed in

The account which shared the video online said: ‘I am worried about the trauma of everyone who was at the scene. I hope that the country will take responsibility and support the trauma management after the accident of all the personnel who were put into the field today.’

Racheal said: ‘You know it’s traumatic when the head of fire department has trembling hands.’ 

Another user tweeted: ‘Being a first responder to an awful calamitous event amidst a celebration would impact even those accustomed to tragedy.’

Reid said: ‘I feel for him– can you imagine being him? I certainly pray for all the law enforcement, emergency workers, and others who responded to the tragedy.’ 

One Twitter user suggested his hands may be trembling from CPR, while another person said: ‘This is heartbreaking. I hope they all receive free therapy sessions.’

Emergency workers struggled to treat the large number of victims due to the narrow and crowded streets

Emergency workers struggled to treat the large number of victims due to the narrow and crowded streets

South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol (centre) attends an emergency meeting after the tragic crowd crush in Seoul

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol (centre) attends an emergency meeting after the tragic crowd crush in Seoul

A man bows as he mourns at the street of a deadly stampede during a Halloween festival

A man bows as he mourns at the street of a deadly stampede during a Halloween festival

Police gather at the scene a day after a deadly stampede which killed 153 and injured dozens

Police gather at the scene a day after a deadly stampede which killed 153 and injured dozens

South Korea has now declared a week of mourning after people reportedly ‘fell like dominoes’ around 10:30pm during the fatal crush at the Halloween festival, where a 100,000-strong crowd had gathered in narrow streets.

Dozens reportedly suffered cardiac arrests and the current death toll stands at 153, including at least 19 foreign nationals, with many of the victims being women in their 20s.

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol declared the week of national mourning and after visiting the site earlier today said that the deadly stampede ‘should not have happened’.

‘In the centre of Seoul, a tragedy and disaster occurred that should not have happened,’ Yoon said in a national address, vowing to ‘thoroughly investigate’ the incident and ensure it could never happen again.

Reports from last night also detail how some revellers continued to party in the neighbourhood after the crush – despite desperate pleas from the police to go home.

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