Human stampedes have claimed many lives dating back to the late 19th century when small, urban spaces became increasingly packed with masses of people. Even earlier this year, at least 45 people in Israel lost their lives in a human stampede during a religious festival. But despite knowing the dangers presented by large crowds in small spaces, how is it that stampedes continue to take lives?
About 7,000 people were killed in more than 216 stampedes between 1980 and 2007, and the death toll has steadily increased over the years since the 1990s. Now, 380 people on average are killed in stampedes annually. While the atmosphere and temperament of a crowd certainly contribute to a stampede’s potential deadliness, in many instances poor logistical planning for human congestion is a major factor.
Experts suggest that if you are ever in a situation where a stampede breaks out, it is important to maintain composure and if possible help those in need as it could significantly reduce the number of fatalities.
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Video produced by Ali Larkin and John Tejada. Article written by Lawrence Banton.