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


On Saturday – in what appears to be one of the deadliest disasters in South Korea since 2014 – nearly 150 people were killed in a crowd during a Halloween celebration in Itaewon, the first major holiday party since the pandemic began.

This event can be described as a crowd crushing or climbing, but not trampling, said G. Keith Sekunjalo, human security expert and visiting professor of crowd science at Suffolk University in England. A crush or surge occurs when people are packed together in a confined space and there is a push-like movement that causes the crowd to fall. Basically, it still says, “the domino effect.”

The stamp means people have a place to run, which wasn’t the case in Itaewon, he said. The more people there are in the crowd, the more we press the crowd.

“The crowd falls like one, and if you’re in a confined space, people can’t get back up,” he said.

The way people step on each other, like the one near Mecca, turns out to be dangerous

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In a Twitter thread on Saturday, one person said he was in the crowd explained people “fall like dominoes and cry.”

On the other hand, I felt like I was going to be crushed to death tweet. “And I breathed into the hole and cried thinking I was dying.” The person continued, writing that they were close to the top of the crowd, shouting, “Please save me!” and the people nearby pulled them.

During surgery, the pressure from above and below people in the crowd makes it difficult to breathe because their lungs need room to expand. It takes about six minutes to go into oppressive or obstructive asphyxia, the cause of death for people killed in the crowd, he said.

People can also injure their body parts and lose consciousness when struggling to breathe and when running from a crowd. It takes about 30 seconds of pressure to stop blood flow to the brain and for people in the crowd to feel light-headed.

Crowding can be caused by many crowded situations, for example when people push others or if someone is walking, he said. But events are not usually caused by people who are in pain or push to stand out from the crowd. Those responses usually come after the crowd begins to fall, he said.

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“People don’t die of fear,” he said. “They are afraid because they are dying. So what happens is, when bodies fall, as people fall on top of each other, people struggle to get up and you end up with arms and legs twisted. “

Similar events have occurred around the world, including this month in a soccer field in Indonesia, where one hundred and thirty people died, and last year at the Astroworld Festival in Texas, which left 10 dead.

Most of Astroworld’s dead victims were in one very crowded, video-time scene

In Astroworld, most of the dead fans were close to each other in the southern quadrant. The area had metal barriers around it, which could crush people if the crowd got too close to them, not allowing a way to control the flow of people.

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Although the explosion in Itaewon took place in the street, the crowd was so dense that movement was severely restricted and there was no way for people to get out vertically, said Norman Badler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has researched crowd pressure.

Last year, crowds gathered more frequently since pandemic restrictions were widely eased, another factor contributing to the population boom. Many people attend events such as Halloween celebrations in Itaewon, it is said, because they have been banned for a long time.

He added that the increase in large gatherings allowed now underscores the need for crowd management training, which disappeared when the pandemic hit because large events were uncommon.

Martyn Amos, a professor at England’s Northumbria University who studies crowds, said such large events need proper planning and people trained in crowd control.

“The broader point is that these incidents will continue to happen if we don’t put in place proper crowd control programs to anticipate, detect and prevent dangerously large crowds,” Amos said in a statement to the Washington Post.


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