Archive for October 26th, 2015

October 26, 2015

Stampede

five people per square meter by g keith still

A stampede is uncontrolled concerted running as an act of mass impulse among herd animals or a crowd of people. Cattle are particularly prone to stampedes. Any sudden, unusual event can set one off, such as a horse shaking itself, a lightning strike, or even just a tumbleweed. Other species that stampede include elephants, walruses, wild horses, rhinoceros, and humans. Human crushes often occur during religious pilgrimages and professional sporting and music events. They also occur in times of panic (e.g. as a result of a fire or explosion) as people try to get away.

Crushes are very often referred to as stampedes but, unlike true stampedes, they can cause many deaths. They typically occur when members at the back of a large crowd continue pushing forward not knowing that those at the front are being crushed, or because of something that forces them to move. It has been suggested that crowd density rather than size is important, with a density of about four people per square meter beginning to be dangerous, even if the crowd is not very large.

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