By Tatsuya Uemoto, Staff Writer
On Oct. 29, a deadly accident occurred in South Korea. It was before Halloween in Itaewon, South Korea, and a party venue was so crowded with people when the accident occurred. The accident occurred in an alley in Itaewon, and 154 people were killed.
There is a United States military facility around the venue where the accident occurred, so the accident site was crowded with many foreigners. Itaewon was more crowded than usual, partly due to the influence of the city becoming a popular spot for TV dramas and other events. Also, in South Korea, all kinds of restrictions were put up due to COVID-19, but all restrictions have been removed for the first time in three years and more people have gathered. The day of the accident was uploaded on social media, and so many people gathered that those in costume could not move.
The alley where the accident occurred was slightly hilly, and then more and more people were falling from the top to the hill, folding on top of each other in this accident. The cause of people’s death in this accident is believed to be suffocation, in which many people were trapped underneath and unable to breathe. However, the detailed cause of why so many people collapsed and when they began to collapse is still unknown, and the South Korean government is trying to figure out the detailed cause.
This type of accident could also happen in the U.S. For example, at a home party, when many people gather and the house is too crowded, a similar accident could occur. If some people fall over at the home party when it’s too crowded, people will start pushing each other and could die by choking. Thus, some feel we need to be careful and need to prepare for when it happens.
Senior University of Hawaii at Hilo business management major Erick Shinjo thinks this can be prevented.
“I think there are some ways to prevent such accidents in public places. First of all, we should restrict the number of people and make enough room for people to walk around. I think it leads to the prevention of overcrowding, and there will be no problem even if someone falls. Also, it is a good idea to deploy security guards,” Shinjo said.
In addition, Senior Western Oregon University communication major Hibiki Ouchi offered the following thoughts.
“This accident could occur all around us. So, I think the best way is to stay away from the crowded place when you find congestion because it can be difficult to get out once you are in the crowd. However, if you get caught in a dense crowd, it is effective to try to get as close as possible to the edge of the road,” Ouchi said.
This accident was not expected by anyone and caused many deaths. Thus, it is important to prepare to avoid being involved in an accident. If there are people who stopped in a crowded place, an accident could occur. Therefore, what you can do if you are in a crowded place is to look around you carefully and act accordingly.