2 US Students Among Dead in South Korea Halloween Crowd Crush

South Korea Asia International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Oct 31, 2022

Seoul, South Korea at night.jpg

Over 150 people have died after they were crushed in a crowd during Halloween festivities in South Korea's capital, Seoul on Saturday night, among them two American college students.

The two students killed during the Halloween gathering were Anne Gieske - a student at the University of Kentucky, and Steven Blesi - a Kennesaw State University student, their schools said in their websites. The US embassy in Seoul also confirmed the news, Erudera.com reports.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives last night, to include two young Americans celebrating alongside their Korean friends and others from around the world,” United States ambassador to South Korea Philip Goldberg said in a statement.

The University of Kentucky president Eli Capilouto informed that Anne, a nursing student from Northern Kentucky, went to study for a semester in South Korea as part of a study abroad program.

Expressing sadness, the president said that the university has been in contact with Anne’s family to offer them the support they need now and in the future, as they deal with the pain of this “indescribable loss.”

“As a community, it is a sacred responsibility we must keep — to be there for each other in moments of sheer joy and in those of deepest sadness. That is what compassionate communities do,” Capilouto said.

There are two other University of Kentucky students and a faculty member in South Korea who have been reported as safe. President said the school is aware that the situation can cause anxiety and grief among other students too; therefore, it offers a range of mental health resources online or by phone for students who need help, including the services of a mental health professional.

The other student Steven Blesi was studying international business at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. According to the school, he was among 11 students who went to pursue studies in South Korea with a study abroad program. Other students are safe.

“I texted him maybe a half-hour before all this happened, and I said, ‘I know you’re out and about. Be safe. I never got a reply to that,” Blesi’s father told The New York Times.

US President Joe Biden offered condolences to the families who lost their loved ones during the tragic event in South Korea.

About 100,000 people, mostly in their 20s and 30s, got crushed after the crowd surged in a nightlife district in Seoul, leaving at least 150 dead and dozens more injured. 97 of those killed were women, and 56 were men.

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety said the number of dead might increase because 37 injured are in serious health condition.

Image source: Yu Kato | Unsplash

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