What is a crowd crush or surge and how did it happen in Seoul


On Saturday – in one of South Korea’s deadliest disasters since 2014 – nearly 150 people died in a stampede during Halloween celebrations in Itaewon, the first major holiday to of holidays since the beginning of the epidemic.

The movement can be described as a crowd disturbance or an overcrowding, not a stampede, said G. Keith Still, a public safety expert and visiting professor of population science at Suffolk University. England. Crowding occurs when people gather in a confined space and there is an action such as pushing that causes the crowd to fall. Basically, says Still, a “domino effect”.

Crowding means people have space to run, which was not the case in Itaewon, he said. The greater the number of people in the crowd, the greater the destructive power of the crowd.

“The whole crowd collapses as one, and if you’re in a confined space, people can’t get back up,” Still said.

The turning of the people, like the one near Mecca, turns deadly

On Twitter on Saturday, one person said they were in the crowd said People “fall like dominoes and scream.”

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“I really felt like I was going to be crushed to death,” they said in another tweet. “And I breathed in the hole and cried and thought I was going to die.” The person continued, writing that they were near the top of the crowd, shouting, “Please save me!” and people nearby pulled them.

During ascent, the pressure from above and below people in the crowd makes it difficult to breathe because their lungs need more space. It takes about six minutes to go into obstructive or obstructive asphyxia, which can be the cause of death for people who die from collisions, Still said.

People can also injure their limbs and lose consciousness as they struggle to breathe and escape from the crowd. The compression takes about 30 seconds to restrict blood flow to the brain and people in the crowd feel lightheaded.

Crowds can be triggered by many difficult situations, such as pushing others or someone walking, Still said. But often what happens is not from people struggling or pushing out from the crowd. Those reactions are often when the crowd starts to fall apart, Still said.

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“People don’t die because they panic,” he said. “They are panicking because they are going to die. So what happens is, when the body falls, when people fall on each other,​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Similar incidents have occurred around the world, including this month at a soccer stadium in Indonesia, where 130 people died, and last year at the Festival of Astroworld in Texas, where 10 people died.

Most of Astroworld’s victims were in a crowded area, as the video shows

In Astroworld, most of the dead fans were close to each other in the southern part of the place. The place was surrounded by an iron barricade, which could crush people if a crowd crowded near it, leaving no way to regulate the movement of people.

Although the riots in Itaewon took place in the streets, the crowd was so packed that the movement was completely banned and there was no way for people to stand up, said Norman Badler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. who researched the oppression of the people.

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Last year, crowds gathered more often as the restrictions on the spread of the disease were greatly eased, another reason for the recent increase in crowds. More people may attend events like Halloween celebrations in Itaewon, Still said, because it has been banned for a long time.

He added that the increase in large gatherings that are now being allowed highlights the need for training in crowd management, which was reduced when the pandemic hit because large events are rare.

Martyn Amos, a professor at the University of Northumbria in England who studies crowds, said these large events need proper planning and people trained to manage crowds.

“The bottom line is that these incidents will continue if we don’t put in place adequate crowd management practices that anticipate, identify and prevent dangerous crowds,” Amos said in a statement. in The Washington Post.


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