A Trick or Treat Disaster in South Korea’s Itaewon Causes Debate

Should the public be partying on Halloween?

Mia Espinal, Staff Writer

On October 29, the citizens of South Korea mourned the lives lost in the Itaewon Halloween disaster. 156 people were injured; some died due to the overcrowding that occurred. Most people that were harmed were young adults.

Itaewon Halloween celebrations are traditional in South Korea. This celebration was the first in two years without COVID-19 guidelines.

The overcrowding was due to people gathering in a tight alleyway. Around 100,000 people attended.

A lack of police on duty led to people having no control of the situation. Reported by The New York Times, only 6 officers were on duty during the disaster.

The issue of overcrowding at public events isn’t new. On Nov. 5, 2021, Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Texas resulted in 10 deaths and many injuries due to the overselling of tickets in the venue.

The Itaewon Halloween disaster showed the dangers of understaffed police and the public gathering in one place without proper supervision.

“Many aren’t aware of the threats this yearly holiday brings,” said Mr. Tims, Music Theory Teacher. “I’ve never had a personal experience with the police, but I think there should have been more on guard.”

Despite the dangers, the holiday still has value as long as people remain vigilant of their surroundings.

“I think it’s cool, dressing up and celebrating with friends,” Mr. Tims said. “I don’t see Halloween as a big problem as long as teens are safe.”