At least 59 dead and 150 injured after stampede during Halloween festivities in Itaewon

 At least 59 people have been killed and 150 injured after a stampede in the South Korean capital of Seoul, according to local officials.

The victims were crushed by a large crowd pushing forward on a narrow street during Halloween festivities near the Hamilton Hotel in the Itaewon area.

Footage on social media showed many victims lying on the pavement as bystanders and emergency services workers performed CPR in an effort to revive them.

Choi Cheon-sik, an official from the National Fire Agency, said more than 400 emergency workers from around the country have been deployed to the scene, including almost all of those available in Seoul.

Seoul's mayor Oh Se-hoon was visiting Europe but decided to return home following the news.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol chaired an emergency meeting following the stampede.

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He said in a statement that officials should ensure swift treatment for those injured and that the safety of festivity sites should be reviewed.

Local media said around 100,000 people headed to Itaewon for the Halloween festivities, which were the biggest in years following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in recent months.