Rep. Brad Wenstrup announced Monday that his niece was one of the more than 150 individuals killed in Seoul, South Korea, during a crowd surge over the weekend.
“Monica and I, and our entire family, are grieving the loss of our niece Anne Marie Gieske. She was a gift from God to our family,” the congressman said in a statement. “We loved her so much.”
Gieske, a nursing student at the University of Kentucky, was studying abroad in South Korea.
The stampede occurred during a Halloween celebration in Seoul. A massive crowd of people attempted to push through a narrow alleyway. Individuals at the center of the crowd were crushed.
Of the more than 150 reported deaths, 80% were in their 20s and 30s and at least four were teenagers. More than two dozen were foreign citizens, including Gieske and Kennesaw State University student Steven Blesi.
South Korean officials say a total of 97 women and 56 men were confirmed dead. Officials said 133 people were also injured.
“We grieve with the people of the Republic of Korea and send our best wishes for a quick recovery to all those who were injured,” said President Joe Biden in a statement Saturday.
“The Alliance between our two countries has never been more vibrant or more vital – and the ties between our people are stronger than ever. The United States stands with the Republic of Korea during this tragic time,” the president continued.
Fox News’ Griffin Frank contributed to this report.