Nathan Taverniti: Where is the Seoul Crowd Crush Survivor Now?

‘Crush,’ a two-episode documentary on Paramount+, sheds light on the events leading up to and the aftermath of the devastating crowd disaster that unfolded in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea. On October 29, 2022, a large crowd gathered in this vibrant part of the city to celebrate Halloween, and 159 lives were lost in the crowd crush that occurred late in the night. Many survivors and the victims’ families have been left with a sense that such a calamity could have been prevented. Among the survivors is Nathan Taverniti, whose ordeal has been brought to light in the documentary. If you want to know about his journey and his current whereabouts, you have come to the right place as we have all the answers for you. Let’s get started!

What Happened to Nathan Taverniti?

Nathan Taverniti, a 24-year-old assistant creative producer from Sydney, Australia, had traveled to Seoul with friends to partake in the Halloween celebrations after hearing about the festivities in the trendy Itaewon district through platforms like TikTok and TV shows. He expected to have a great time, joining his friend Grace, accompanied by two other friends. When he arrived at the scene, he noticed the massive crowd, but at that moment, it didn’t raise any particular concern for him.

Image Credit: Nathan Traverniti/TikTok

Around 9:50 pm in the night, massive waves of people began pouring in from the subway station, funneling into a narrow alley that led to World Food Street. The substantial crowd already present on the street found themselves trapped, unable to find an exit, which ultimately led to a disastrous crush. In this harrowing situation, numerous individuals became trapped within a massive, suffocating crowd, with pressure coming from both sides. The conditions rapidly deteriorated, and many caught in the crush were unable to breathe, resulting in the loss of their lives.

Nathan’s friend Grace was among those who did not survive this devastating incident. In an interview, he described the incident, saying, “At that point in time we all got a little bit separated. Obviously you would think we would see each other in another minute or so but that obviously never happened.” In a TikTok video, Nathan recounted his experience, saying, “I was there when she said she couldn’t breathe, and I grabbed one of my friend’s hands. There was no stampede; it was a slow and agonizing crush.”

When law enforcement eventually arrived, Nathan had managed to hold onto himself, but his friend remained missing. With the assistance of American network ABC reporters, he was able to locate his friend as she was being taken away on a stretcher, ultimately identifying her through her, which she had gotten done that day itself.

Nathan Taverniti is a Vocal Advocate For Accountability

Following the tragic incident, Nathan took on the role of acting as a guardian for Grace’s body until her family could be contacted. Another one of his friends who had been with them that night sustained severe injuries and had to be admitted to the intensive care unit. As of now, Nathan resides in the Epping district of New South Wales, Australia, having left his position as an assistant creative producer in August 2023. He has become a vocal advocate for accountability from the South Korean government in the wake of the disaster. His stance is that there should be more than just an apology; there must be proper acknowledgment and acceptance of responsibility for the events that unfolded that fateful night.

Nathan feels that plans and precautions should have already been in place for such a large global event as even the assistance that appeared on the scene was not quick enough. He has said, “Their deaths never had to happen. There are not many people speaking about the situation that saw everything unfold. The only reason why I have been doing any interviews is so that the government doesn’t brush this under the rug and move on with their lives.” His resilience is inspiring and we hope that his questions get answered soon.

Read More: Where is Seoul Crowd Crush Survivor Cholong Kim Now?