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Macron among French politicians to pay respect after South Korea crush

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has also tweeted condolences after it emerged that more than 150 people have been killed in a Halloween crush in Seoul

A photo of President Macron looking serious

President Macron tweeted condolences to South Korea, saying 'France is at your side' Pic: Victor Joly / Shutterstock

Politicians in France, including President Macron, have shared their shock and condolences at the events yesterday in Seoul, South Korea, after a crowd crush killed more than 150 people.

President Macron tweeted: “A heartfelt thought this evening for the people of Seoul and for all the Korean people after the tragedy in Itaewon. France is at your side.”

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne also added her condolences. She said: “I am deeply moved by the terrible tragedy in Seoul. My thoughts are with the victims, their families, and the Korean people.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna was also among those to offer her thoughts. She said: “Deeply saddened by the terrible events in Seoul. We are with the people of the Republic of Korea at this difficult moment.”

Their messages come after at least 153 people have been confirmed dead in a crush in a narrow street in the Itaewon area of the capital city, Seoul, on October 29.

Most of them were teenagers or adults in their 20s, and they were out celebrating Halloween. So far, 20 have been confirmed as foreigners, including at least one Australian.

It was the first time that people had been allowed out to socialise and celebrate without wearing masks since the lifting of lockdown rules due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Itaewon is a popular nighttime district.

The exact cause and lead-up to the tragedy are still under investigation. Itaewon is usually busy at the weekends, but reports say that more than 100,000 people flocked to the area as a result of Halloween.

Distressing videos of young people struggling to breathe, and bodies lying unconscious, have emerged.

One witness. Jeon Ga-eul, 30, was at a nearby bar when the incident began. She told the AFP: "My friend said: ‘Something terrible is happening outside’. I said: ‘What are you talking about?’ And then I went outside to see and there were people doing CPR in the street."

Bodies have now been moved into a nearby gym, with identification by family members underway.

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