“It’s a narrow alley. People are lining up outside the club, those coming up from Itaewon Station and those going out to the street. Because they are all squeezed together, people can get crushed to death if things go wrong. I think you need to control the people on the driveway,” said a caller to the emergency line, according to a transcript of the call log seen by CNA.
In the next few hours, more calls would come in, alerting police to people collapsing on the streets and warning of the possibility of a major incident.
At 8.33pm: “Because of the crowd, people are collapsing. Things are getting out of control.”
9pm: “We are at Itaewon, and we are on the verge of a major incident because of the large crowd. People are being pushed, and I’m worried an incident will occur.”
9.07pm: “There are too many people in front of a bar, and it feels like we will be crushed to death. You need to come and control this.”
The final call to the police was received at 10.11pm, minutes before people began falling over each other.
“People will get crushed to death. There are too many people,” read the chilling transcript from the last caller.
Moments later, chaos erupted and at least 156 people were killed in a crowd crush along a steep, narrow alley leading from near the Itaewon subway station to bars and clubs along a main street.
In total, 11 such calls – each sounding increasingly desperate – were made to the police department’s 112 emergency line that Saturday evening.