Survivors of the Itaewon Crowd Surge Say They Feel Guilty About Being Alive

itaewon tragedy survivors
itaewon tragedy survivors
Credit: SBS

A survivor of the deadly crowd surge in Seoul mourned their friend through a heartbreaking interview.

The November 5th broadcast of Unanswered Questions highlighted the Itaewon tragedy under the title “The Halloween Tragedy: Neglected Call for Help.”

The survivor of the Itaewon crowd surge shared, “I don’t want to think about the Halloween night in Itaewon again. It was the day I lost my friend, a friend of 20 years. He believed in living life to the max.”

Another survivor said, “We were all dressed up in costumes, took pictures, walked for 10 minutes, walked for another 10 minutes, and during that 20 minutes, my friend lost her life. It had been less than an hour since we arrived in Itaewon. My friend didn’t even flinch for the entire ten minutes the paramedics performed CPR on her. I had no choice but to watch my friend die before my eyes. I feel guilty about being alive. It was an absolute nightmare come true.”

Won Byung Mook, a physicist and professor at Sungkyunkwan University, said the laws of physics were hidden in the video footage and survivors’ testimonies. He said, “When small grains become stuck in a certain area, the flow of the liquid causes them to solidify, resulting in a stationary phenomenon in which the grains cannot move. If the crowd’s density surpasses a particular level, it transforms into a solid state.”

Paul Wertheimer, a crowd safety expert, also said, “Horrible, horrible. Looking at the video of the incident… I wanted to cry. The missteps are the same around the world, and they usually revolve around a failure to provide for the safety of the crowd. Everybody knew that this was going to be a bigger event. It was anticipated, yet they just turned their back on the crowd.”

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