Intensive Crowd Control Measures Announced for Halloween in Itaewon and Hongdae

SEOUL, - The National Fire Agency announced that it will implement rigorous crowd control measures in Itaewon, Hongdae, and other crowded areas during the upcoming Halloween weekend.

According to a news release by Yonhap News Agency, this move comes in the wake of last year's tragic crowd crush incident during Halloween celebrations in Itaewon, which resulted in 159 fatalities.

The agency stated that from Friday to next Thursday, intensive crowd management will be in place in four key entertainment districts: Itaewon, Hongdae, and Myeongdong in Seoul, as well as Dongseong-ro in Daegu. These areas are expected to see the largest influx of people during the Halloween period.

As part of these measures, an emergency management officer will be dispatched to each of the four areas. On-site command posts will function until all crowds have dispersed. The agency will also increase the number of nighttime patrols to prevent any potential accidents. Additionally, more emergency rescuers and ambulances will be deployed, and hospital beds will be pre-allocated for emergencies.

The fire agency has already begun fire safety inspections at multiuse facilities in areas expected to attract large Halloween crowds. Illegal installations have been removed, and emergency exits have been cleared. Continuous communication with other government agencies like police and regional governments, as well as merchant communities in the areas, is planned for seamless cooperation.

Nam Hwa-yeong, commissioner general of the National Fire Agency, cautioned against using firefighter or police uniforms for Halloween costumes to avoid any confusion that might hamper rescue operations. "We will make thorough preparations against the possibility of an accident with other related agencies to ensure prompt communications and on-site responses can take place," he said.

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