At Least 26 Foreigners Dead In South Korean Stampede, Numbers Reveal

( At least 26 foreigners are reportedly dead in a South Korean stampede during a Halloween event on October 31. The total number of fatalities has reached 154 people, 26 of whom are foreigners from the United States, Iran, China, Russia, Japan, France, Austria, Australia, Norway, Vietnam, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Sri Lanka.

One foreigner has been hospitalized and 14 others have returned home, according to South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin. Park also said that the Korean government is currently deliberating ways for the families of foreign victims to receive assistance comparable with Korean nationals.

The event turned deadly when a huge crowd funneled into a narrow alleyway in Seoul’s leisure district of Itaewon, measuring 10 and a half feet wide. An ongoing investigation is still determining what led the crowd to surge the alleyway.

Among the victims tragically killed in the incident were two American college students who were studying abroad. One student, Anne Gieske, was a nursing student from the University of Kentucky. The university has reached out to the Gieske family to provide them assistance during this time, university President Eli Capilouto said in a statement.

“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. It is loss and it hurts in ways that are impossible to articulate,” Capilouto said.

Steven Blesi, a student at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, was also killed in the crowd surge. His father said that his son was in South Korea to study international business and Korean.

“I can’t imagine the suffering he endured,” Blesi told NBC News. “The South Korean police should have been better prepared.”

The U.S. Embassy in South Korea has confirmed the deaths and issued a statement saying they are working with authorities and other organizations to help those who have been affected.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives last night, to include two young Americans celebrating alongside their Korean friends and others from around the world,” U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg said.

A national mourning period was announced by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, with government agencies flying the flag at half-staff.