360 degrees: Stampedes - The saga of mishaps

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jul 19, 2015, 12:04 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 12:07 pm IST
Basic understanding of individual safety & risk of human stampedes must be developed
The stampede erupted when hundreds of people tried to force their way into the factory compound through a small gate after massing outside the building before dawn. (Photo: AFP)
 The stampede erupted when hundreds of people tried to force their way into the factory compound through a small gate after massing outside the building before dawn. (Photo: AFP)

As thousands perish in stampedes, officials fail to enforce National Disaster Management Authority guidelines as was evident in the Pushkar ghat-1 incident in Rajahmundry.

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Read: Disaster still Lurks by Faisel T Illiyas

Forced waiting in queues for long hours, loss of individual physical space, seeing free movement of VIPs when others are in queue and intentional acts may negatively influence the crowd.  Also, a basic understanding of individual safety and risk of human stampedes must be developed among people planning to attend a mass event

Also read: Malls ill-equipped to meet emergencies by Dr Shibu K Mani

Though post-9/11, disaster management plan has included terror attacks as a major hazard in malls and shopping complexes, evacuation and safety plans are mainly limited to metros. There are no uniform safety guidelines for shopping malls yet

 

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There is a false belief that taking a holy dip in the river on the first day of the festival will be more auspicious. It’s the same as taking dip on any other day - Swamy Swaroopanand, Sankaracharya of Dwarka

A list of deadly stampedes in India -

YearPlaceDeathInjured
2015

Maha Pushkaralu: Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh

2750
2014

Mumbai: People gathered to pay last respect to Dawoodi Bohra spiritual leader

1856
2014

Patna: People had gathered for Dussehra celebrations

3215
2013Kumbh Mela: Stampede broke out after a railing on a footbridge collapsed3748
2013Madhya Pradesh: Rumour that a bridge is about to collapse115110
2011Sabarimala: Stampede broke out after a jeep toppled over10250
2008Jodhpur: A stampede occurred on September 30 at the Chamunda Devi temple224425
2005Chennai: Flood-hit had gathered for relief material4849
1999Sabarimala: Collapse of sides of a hillock had triggered the stampede53NA
1994Nagpur: People from the Gowari community demanding reservation were stopped mid-way114500
1954Kumbh Mela8002000

Factors that trigger stampedes

 

  • Rush and Surge of people: People try to enter into a special place for better view/participation in functions which results in jostling, suffocation, failure of confining walls, barriers and gates
  • Accidents: Collapse of temporary or permanent structures, accidents on bridges, vehicle accidents also leads to a stampede
  • Natural or human-induced hazards: Slope failure, heavy rain and slippery surfaces, fire, intentional acts
  • Rumours: Spread of rumour about an accident, terror attack, stampede or a calamity near to the venue, distribution of free goods

 

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