An English teacher in Seoul who was in Itaewon on Saturday night told CNN what she saw.
“There were rows and rows of people covered in tarps on the street,” said Emily Farmer, 27.
Farmer, who was with two friends, said she did not see any crowd control measures in place in the area.
The tragedy has killed at least 151 people and left dozens more injured. Nineteen foreign nationals, from Iran, Norway, China and Uzbekistan, are also among the dead.
Farmer and his friends were “overwhelmed” by the crowd on the street and decided to enter a bar.
Soon after, rumors began to spread that someone had died and patrons were not allowed to leave. Farmer said he received an emergency message from the government alerting them to a “dangerous situation in the area”.
She was allowed to leave the bar around midnight and she learned of the drama that had unfolded just outside.
“It was awful,” she said. “Not everyone died instantly.”
“They were still taking people out because it was so crowded,” she added.
Groups of people were crying, she added. Many victims were receiving CPR and had their suits removed to allow medics at the scene to resuscitate them.
She still hasn’t heard from two local acquaintances she messaged last night. ” I am still shocked. It was obviously very traumatic,” she added.