It’s been a year since the Itaewon disaster but heartbreaking memories still remain
On the ground at the alley where the Itaewon disaster happened, the line “There are names to be remembered” was crafted in remembrance of people who died in the tragedy. It’s been a year since the tragic Itaewon crowd crush that took away the lives of 159 people.
The tragedy happened on October 29th, 2022 when big crowds flocked to the small alley of about 40 meters long with a width of 3.2 meters in Itaewon to celebrate Halloween for the first time after the Covid-19 pandemic. As there were too many people and the crowd became aggressive, a shocking stampede occurred, causing a big stir in Korea.
After the disaster, all the Halloween activities were canceled. The busy Itaewon Street was blocked for police investigations.
It’s been a year since the tragedy, restaurants and stores have been opened and activities are already back to normal but the gloomy atmosphere is still all over the place in this alley.
Sometimes, someone would pass by this alley and say, “So this is where that Itaewon issue happened”, and the other would react, “I didn’t know it was this small”.
Yuki Yoshida, a Japanese who started learning at a Korean school in September 2023, confessed that it was her first time seeing this alley. She also left a small note on the memorial wall, where people wrote messages for the Itaewon disaster victims in different languages. Yuki also said the word “Itaewon” and the silent atmosphere at this place made her feel heartbroken.