Its a black Tuesday in the entertainment industry, as the public went from mourning Nigerian singer Davido’s son, Ifeanyi Adeleke, down to American Rapper Takeoff, and now K-pop star Lee Jihan who was among the over 150 people that died at the Seoul Halloween stampede.
Posting a black square on Instagram, the two agencies representing Jihan – 935 Entertainment and 9Auto Entertainment – confirmed the news in their post which reads;
“We are sad to deliver such news today, but Lee Jihan has passed away in the crush in Itaewon last night. We would like to express our deepest condolences to his family, who are saddened by the sudden tragic news, also to everyone who loved him.
“A precious family actor Lee Ji-Han has become a star in the sky and has left us. Please take the last path of the actor Lee Ji-han, who left us too quickly. I hope you will see it warmly.”
Jihan was among the at least 153 dead in what was one of South Korea’s worst disasters in years. It remained unclear what led the crowd to surge into the downhill alley in the Itaewon district Saturday night. Witnesses said people fell on each other “like dominoes,” and some victims were bleeding from their noses and mouths while being given CPR, according to The Associated Press.
What happened in Seoul?
Itaewon is popular for its Halloween festivities, attracting people from around the world every year.
On the evening of Saturday 29 October, as many as 100,000 people – mostly in their teens and 20s – poured into Itaewon’s narrow, sloping streets for one of the first major celebrations since Covid restrictions were lifted.
Just after 10pm, chaos erupted on a narrow, steep sidestreet near Itaewon station that connects to a slew of bars and clubs from the main road.
Witnesses reported seeing crowds surging in different directions and people losing their footing on the slope, causing a domino effect.
People fell and knocked others down, piling one person on to another and trapping them. Others tried to scale the sides of the buildings to escape.
Adding to the chaos were thousands of people in Halloween costumes, making it difficult for police officers to get to the people who needed help.
The celebrations took place in the region after two years as all activities were halted due to COVID-19 restrictions. As per reports, over 80 people have been injured in the incident.
Meanwhile, the Korean government has announced a period of national mourning until November 5. Various K-pop music releases and events have also been canceled or rescheduled after the tragedy.