Itaewon incident survivor A, in his 20s, visited Itaewon with five friends to enjoy Halloween around 6 pm on Oct. 29. He entered the alley next to the Hamilton Hotel just before the incident and was caught between the crowds from both sides. He eventually lost his balance and fell and was crushed by four other men, immobilized for 15 minutes.
Just as he was about to give up on the escape, thinking, “I’m going to die like this,” a strong black man grabbed Mr. A’s arm and armpit, and lifted him up like a radish from the field to rescue him. The man was strong enough to rescue him, who was 182 cm tall and weighed 96 kg. Afterwards, the man, along with two other foreign colleagues, pulled people out of the crowd for a while. At the scene of the chaos, they saved 30 lives just counting what he witnessed.
As the experiences of survivor A were transmitted and new eyewitness accounts were added, the identities of the righteous three man were revealed that day. Jamil Taylor (40), Jerome Augusta (34), and Dane Beathard (32) working at Camp Casey in Gyeonggi-do province. They had an interview with AFP news agency on Oct. 30, the day after the incident, and reported the disaster situation and rescue activities.
According to the report, the three went to Itaewon to enjoy the Halloween atmosphere on a weekend off. Like everyone else at the time, they walked down the narrow alley next to the Hamilton Hotel and had to be pushed by the crowds on both sides. The three of them, feeling a sense of crisis, climbed the wall and managed to escape to the surrounding railing, but the scene that immediately unfolded was devastating.
"After a while after we got out of the crowd, people started to fall on top of each other like dominoes," Taylor said. The scream engulfed every sound,” he recalled.
The three immediately went to the rescue. People shouting “Save me” were taken out of the crowd and evacuated to nearby shops and clubs. They even took the victims to a spacious and safe area so that rescuers who arrived can perform CPR. It was also at this time in the testimony of survivor A, who said, “He grabbed my arm and armpit side, lifted it, and took me to a nearby bar.”
They said they stayed at the edge of the alley all night and continued rescue operations. “I shouted at people to move back, but it was too late,” Augusta said of the urgent situation. “The narrow alleys were jammed with people, so rescuers couldn't easily rescue them,” Beathard said. As they left the scene, they recalled that "There were bodies everywhere when we left."
Survivor A said that he received this interview from an acquaintance and read it and was convinced that the three people in the article were the benefactors who saved his life. "The place where I and my party were locked up was located in the middle of an alley, so the rescue team had no choice but to approach it late." He continued, “The number of casualties has been reduced thanks to the active rescue efforts of the U.S. forces there. I want to meet them in person and say thank you.”