How to Survive Crowd Crush

How to survive crowd crushLike yesterday’s, today’s tip come from the pages of Reader’s Digest:

“When a huge crowd hits a tight choke point, a scary thing happens: The crowd starts moving like a fluid, each person forced forward by the people behind, regardless of whether there’s anywhere to move. This occurred last September when a group of more than a million pilgrims reached a narrow street intersection in Mecca. Trapped between the 
force of people behind them and 
the wall of people in front of them, some 2,200 died from compressive asphyxiation, the air literally crushed from their lungs. It’s a terrible fate but one you can avoid with these survival tips.

  • Don’t fight the tide. Shock waves from the back of the crowd will push you forward—do not fight them. Stopping is the quickest way to fall, and falling is the quickest way to die. Instead, “wait for the surge to come, go with it, and move sideways. Keep moving with it and sideways, with it and sideways,” says Edwin Galea, 
a crowd behavior specialist at the University of Greenwich.
  • If you do fall, make an air pocket ASAP. Try to fall in a rigid fetal position (arms over your face and chest) to attempt to make room for your lungs to breathe. One man survived the 2003 Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island by doing this and securing a small supply of fresh air through the blaze.

A panicked, rushing crowd is a scary thought, and I hope you never encounter one. If you do, remember these survival tips.



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How to Survive Crowd Crush
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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

1 Comment on "How to Survive Crowd Crush"

  1. Even better is try not to get into this type of situation. A very long time ago I went with several girlfriends to see Second City in Chicago. The theater arrangement was such that the capacity crowd going in had to fight through the same coming out. We’re were smashed together with lots of pushing and shoving, I’m quite small but one of my friends was fairly tall and a police officer’s wife. As I got more terrified she said don’t be concerned I have you and a stun gun in my purse and I know how to use it.
    The second time was a massively crowded ferry in Malaysia. There is no way to describe that death trap and the knowledge that we had left the dock and I couldn’t get off.
    FYI I have one metal arm and no longer ride tour buses.

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