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How to Survive a Crowd Crush?

How to Survive a Crowd Crush?

It happened at a music festival in Houston, a football stadium in England, and it has happened again, during the Halloween festivities in the South Korean capital, Seoul, where a crowd pushed forward, the narrow street in which they were found acted like a vice, leaving more than 140 people dead and 150 more injured.

Many of the deceased are in their twenties and, among them, 98 women. 26 foreigners from more than a dozen countries such as China, Iran, Russia, Norway or the United States have also been identified. From the Embassy of Spain in the country, they assure that at the moment no Spaniard has been registered among the identified deceased.

Many of us are not aware of the power of a crowd surge until it is too late. As we return to live music after the pandemic lockdowns, it’s worth remembering that the connection we seek comes at a cost. Unfortunately, if promoters and artists fail in their duty to protect us, the responsibility for survival could fall on us.

In a Twitter thread user, 梨泰院 Love for Itaewon-dong shared some important points about what to do in a crowd crush. Even if you think this will never apply to you, taking a moment to learn what to do in this situation could save your life and the lives of those around you.

Crowd Crush Survive

When you enter a venue, make note of the exits

If you are attending a concert or large event, make sure you make note of where the emergency exits are when entering. Once it gets too crowded, the main exit may not be the most viable option.

Learn how to watch crowd density

This may be the most important step in the thread. Once crowd density reaches 6 people per square meter or more, it becomes very dangerous and you may not be able to get out anymore. Prevention is key.

Understand where crowd crush happens

Most crowd crush deaths occur in small spaces such as alleyways, moshpits, or exit hallways of venues. This is why it’s best to leave early and not wait for things to get dangerous since others may get the same idea and crush at the exit.

Alert people

 Since crowd crushes occur in loud environments, people outside the crush often have no idea what’s happening. If you are at an organized event and notice a crowd crush, get up high. Alert security and event organizers to stop the music and make everyone aware.

make space around your chest

If you are stuck in the crowd and feel its density increasing, make space around your chest with your arms. Pining your arms to your sides or above your head leaves your chest open to being compressed.

Do not take off backpack

Your first instinct may be to make more space by removing a bulky backpack and putting it on the floor. This is a huge hazard. People being pushed into it may trip and case a pileup.

Go with the flow

Once the crowd reaches 8-9 people per square meter, the inside can’t move freely and the crowd behaves like a liquid. You will feel yourself being moved in different directions, but it’s important you don’t fight it. This clip demonstrates one of these waves.

Do not scream and push

If you begin acting panicked, hostile, and inconsiderate of those around you, it will become contagious. In this situation, pushing one person can lead to a horrible chain reaction. Again, staying calm and moving with the crowd is the safest choice.

Do not fall

This is pretty intuitive, but it’s importance must be emphasized. Your top priority once the crowd crush starts is staying upright. Once you fall down, people will fall on top of you or climb you. You won’t be able to get back up.

Avoid walls

Most people who asphyxiate in crowd crushes are pushed against solid objects like floors, barriers, fences, or walls. Do your best to avoid becoming trapped against walls or even the back of someone trapped against a wall to increase your chances of survival.

Help your neighbours only if you can

Access the risk first. If someone is slipping down and you are in the position to help them you should, but if you are unstable and someone is yanking on you trying to get up, it could result in both of you falling.


 When the crowd thins there may be people on the floor. Since these things usually result from a lack of event planning, there may not be enough medical personnel to help right away. In this case, volunteers save lives. The next parts are about how and when to provide CPR.

Make sure it is safe

Access the situation around you. Crowd surges have natural lulls and you must be certain you will be safe and that you will have the space to help someone before you decide to go check on them.

Accessing if someone is responsive

 Just because someone is down does not mean they need CPR. The first step is to see if they are conscious. Asking “Are you alright?” and shaking their shoulders is a good place to start. If they don’t move or make a noise, move to the next step.

Check for breathing

Tilt their chin up to open their airways. Then, level your eyes to their chest and see if it is rising and falling. Listen for breathing (if it isn’t too loud). You can also put a hand on their chest or a finger under their nose to feel for warm breath.

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