Police analyze witness accounts, CCTV footage in probe into deadly crowd crush

October 31, 2022

Police investigating the deadly Halloween crowd crush in Itaewon are analyzing scores of witness accounts and security camera footage to determine the cause of the accident, a top police official said Monday.

The crowd crush in a narrow, sloped alley in the popular nightlife district in Seoul on Saturday night left 154 people dead and 149 others injured, 33 of them seriously.

“We have formed a 475-member special investigative team and are closely checking the circumstances of the accident by investigating eyewitnesses and analyzing CCTV video footage,” Nam Gu-jun, chief of the National Office of Investigation, told reporters.

The site of a deadly crowd crush in Itaewon, Seoul, is cordoned off on Oct. 31, 2022. (Yonhap)

The site of a deadly crowd crush in Itaewon, Seoul, is cordoned off on Oct. 31, 2022. (Yonhap)

The team interviewed 44 eyewitnesses Sunday and has secured 52 pieces of surveillance camera footage in 42 places around the scene, he said. They also examining videos posted on social media sites.

He said no acts subject to criminal charges have been detected so far.

Asked about the allegation that some people pushed others in the crowd causing the stampede, he replied, “Witnesses offered differing accounts, and we will examine the circumstances further.”

He added autopsies will not be highly necessary and that there were no families requesting any.

Nam also vowed to deal sternly with defamation of the deceased and leaks of their private information.

He already ordered local police to investigate six online posts about the accident.

“We will actively consider beginning investigations into maliciously false and slanderous comments, and the spread of victims’ personal information even before complaints are filed,” he added.