Itaewon disaster “It was a lack of planning police force and emergency services”… Australian victim’s friend’s “bitter criticism”

With 26 foreigners killed in the Itaewon disaster, a friend of an Australian victim lamented the incident, calling it a “disaster caused by inaction”.

On Oct 31st, local media, including Australia’s 9 News, reported that Nathan Taverniti, a friend of Australian victim Grace Rached (23), explained the situation in tears through a TikTok video.

Taverniti shared a selfie he took with his friends before the accident and explained, “It was Grace’s 24th birthday in 12 days. We visited Itaewon.”

australian itaewon stampede

He said, “I was there when she said she couldn’t breathe and I grabbed one of my friend’s hands.” He eventually burst into tears.

Taverniti talked about the three friends who went with him, “2 of them are in critical conditions and one of them has unfortunately passed away. There was no stampede, it was a slow and agonising crush.”

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He recalled, “It was a lack of planning police force and emergency services. Nobody was willing to help. I watched as people filmed, sang and laughed while my friend was dying.

He pointed out, “I was there trying to pull people out because there were not enough police officers and nobody was doing anything to make the crowd stop. We were yelling, we were saying ‘you have to go back, you have to turn around, people are dying’, but nobody was listening. It took half an hour for police to arrive, another hour for reinforcements and even longer for other emergency services. There were people lying on the ground getting CPR, not by health professionals, by random people, whoever could.”

Itaewon stampede

He then described the victims as “those abandoned by the government” and pointed out again, “You know how many people were going to that event. Why were you not prepared?”

Meanwhile, local media reported, “Grace’s family said in a statement, ‘We are missing our gorgeous angel Grace who lit up a room with her infectious smile. Grace was a talented film producer who was passionate about making a difference.'”

itaewon stampede

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a total of 26 foreigners died in the Itaewon crushing disaster. The nationalities of these foreigners are: Iran (5), China (4), America (2) and Japan (2). In addition, there was one foreigner each from Australia, France, Norway, Austria, Vietnam, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka.

Read also: Itaewon crush disaster reported by broadcasters and reporters’ poor professionalism 

Source: dispatch

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