UK student among victims of deadly South Korea crowd surge


Kendall Staton, Asst. News Editor

A UK student is among over 150 dead after a crowd surged in Seoul, South Korea, late Saturday night, university president Eli Capilouto said via campus-wide email Sunday afternoon.

The email said Anne Gieske, a junior nursing major from Northern Kentucky, died alongside at least 153 people and 133 injured after a Halloween celebration turned into a deadly stampede late Saturday night, according to CBS News. The National Fire Agency said most victims are in their 20s.

According to the email, Gieske traveled to South Korea with a group of other students in an education abroad program. The email said the three other UK affiliates present on the trip have been contacted by the university and are safe. 

A crowd of over 100,000 people on the way to clubs, bars and restaurants in South Korea’s Itaewon neighborhood crowded into a narrow alley, excited to participate in some of South Korea’s first large Halloween celebrations since the COVID pandemic.

As the death toll continues to rise, South Korean officials are working to provide an official count of those injured and killed. 

The email detailed various mental health resource programs available on campus for those affected by the events. Capilouto encouraged students to support one another in trying times. 

“There aren’t adequate or appropriate words to describe the pain of a beautiful life cut short. It isn’t fair, nor is it comprehensible,” Capilouto said in the email. “It is loss and it hurts in ways that are impossible to articulate.”

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A post shared by Anne Gieske (@anne_in_seoul)

Gieske posted about her 20th birthday celebration on Instagram two days ago, celebrating by South Korea’s Han River. 

According to NPR, the Yongsan district, where Itaewon is located, has been declared a special disaster location. This classification denotes the South Korean government will pay for the cost of funerals, medical treatment and family consolation.