Janelle Story was among thousands of young people who traveled to Seoul’s Itaewon to celebrate Halloween.
Because she knew it would be crowded, she and her friends booked an organized bar crawl.
South Korea stampede live updates
She said that it was evident that the area was busier than usual at the beginning of the night, and it took them between 20-30 minutes to get to the subway station. This was due to the volume of people living on the streets.
She describes how she got from the first bar at 9.30pm to scenes that felt uncomfortable. This was an hour before The Crush took place.
She says she doesn’t like crowds, and that “we were moving very slowly.” However, even though it was painful, it wasn’t overwhelming.
It was very different an hour later.
“Very suddenly, this wave of people just came running towards us with an incredible force and urgency. I had to stop filming the moment it got so serious.
“I felt panic because of my dislike for crowds. So I panicked and saw panicked faces come towards me because it was scary. It would only take a second for them to fall down.”
She was not in the narrow alley that people had lost their lives but in one of the larger streets nearby, which is a sign of how chaotic this area had become.
She claims that things were so chaotic she didn’t realize how dire the situation was in the alley. She heard that people had fallen and fainted, so she and her friends set out to get home. “We didn’t feel safe.”
She claims that the only person she saw in a police uniform before the disaster occurred was someone wearing fancy dress.
Continue reading: We know little about the South Korea crowd crush which left many dead.
She added, “It’s distressing. It’s confusing. I still have many questions.”
“It was not an unexpected large event, the city knew there were going to be 100,000 people tonight, it’s actually the first time since COVID that we could actually go out on Halloween night!”
“How did it happen? Where was the prevention?”