Kennesaw State student among the 150+ who died in South Korea Halloween incident

Steven Blesi was among the 150+ people killed during a crowd surge incident in South Korea over...
Steven Blesi was among the 150+ people killed during a crowd surge incident in South Korea over the weekend.(Steve Blesi)
Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 7:19 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2022 at 12:43 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The grieving father of 20-year-old Kennesaw State University student Steven Blesi wants his son to be remembered for his kind heart and his adventurous spirit.

Steve Blesi told Atlanta News First that his son was among the people killed over the weekend when a Halloween party in Seoul, South Korea, turned into a stampede.

Steven was an international business major who spoke multiple languages, his father said. He was part of KSU’s study abroad program. Blesi described his son as adventurous and outgoing. He said he last chatted with his son Friday night.

“He told me Midterms were over and he was going to go out with some friends,” Blesi said. “I texted him, ‘I know you’re out and about. Be safe. I love you.’”

The next day, Blesi and his wife heard about the stampede at a Halloween celebration in Seoul’s nightlife district that ended in mass casualties after a crowd surged through a narrow alley.

“The Embassy called us late Saturday night, and when they said the words, ‘Are you sitting down?’ I knew what the next words were going to be,” Blesi recalled.

Steven, an Eagle Scout and a Lassiter High School graduate, was among the more than 150 people killed in the crowd surge.

Blesi said his emotions are all over the pace.

“It varies from heartbreak to rage because I think the police force in South Korea could’ve done something crowd-control wise, and they just completely failed,” he said.

Blesi said he and his family are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and memories that Steven’s friends are sharing.

“The world’s just not as bright with him not in it,” he said, adding, “I wish this pain on no one.”

Kennesaw State University issued a statement on itsTwitter page Sunday saying university officials learned of Blesi’s passing.

According to the statement, officials say they are “deeply saddened” to learn that Steven Blesi was among the more than 150 people who were tragically killed in an incident in Seoul, South Korea.

It remained unclear what led the crowd to surge into the downhill alley in the Itaewon area on Saturday night, and authorities promised a thorough investigation.

Witnesses said people fell on each other “like dominoes,” and some victims were bleeding from their noses and mouths while being given CPR.

Kim Mi Sung, an official at a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism in Itaewon, said she performed CPR on 10 people who were unconscious, mostly women wearing witch outfits and other Halloween costumes. Nine of them were declared dead on the spot.

“I still can’t believe what has happened. It was like a hell,” Kim said.