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Canadian among injured in crowd surge that killed more than 150 in South Korea

Person’s identity and extent of injuries have not been released
Ambulances carrying victims head to the hospital near the scene in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. Global Affairs says a Canadian was injured in a crowd surge that killed more than 150 people in Seoul, South Korea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lee Jin-man

A Canadian was among those injured in a crowd surge that killed more than 150 people in Seoul, South Korea, Global Affairs confirmed Sunday, while Korean Canadians said they were shocked by the disaster.

The federal department said Canadian officials are in touch with local authorities to gather more information and provide consular assistance to those affected.

It said no further information, including whether the person was hospitalized or the severity of the injuries, can be released about the person who was hurt due to privacy considerations.

“Canada offers its deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed during yesterday’s Halloween festivities and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured,” the department said in a statement issued on Sunday. “To our friends in South Korea, we stand with you during this difficult time.”

South Korean officials have said at least 153 people, mostly in their 20s and 30s, were trapped and crushed after a huge Halloween party crowd surged into a narrow alley in the nightlife district of Itaewon.

Tens of thousands of people were believed to have gathered Saturday night for the festivities.

Korean Canadians said they were upset to hear the news.

“My heart is broken, especially since so many young people have died,” said Michaela Le, who works with uVillage Church in Vancouver.

The community is “shocked” by what happened. However, members haven’t had a chance to gather formally and talk about the disaster so it’s too early to say whether any supports are being organized for those affected, she said.

“It is such a sad, sad thing for the whole country and even for people who are living abroad to hear a story like this.”

JeongWoong Seo, who is from Seoul but lives in Montreal, said she doesn’t believe she knows anyone affected. But she said her church community discussed the tragedy Sunday.

“Today at service we talked about the news,” she said. “It’s very, very sad.”

Susan Shin, who works with the Korean Personal Support Workers’ Association in Toronto, said she learned about the news when friends shared it with her on a group chat.

“We are in deep sorrow,” she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined other international leaders in offering condolences to South Korea Saturday following the deadly stampede.

“I’m thinking of everyone affected by this tragedy, and wishing a fast and full recovery to those who were injured,” Trudeau said in a tweet.

The Canadian Press

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