Human stampedes at mass gatherings: An overview

Lakshmi Devi Vanumu, Kumar Laxmikant, K.Ramachandra Rao


The main aim of this study is to present an overview of human stampedes and to identify the major triggering factors with respect to the type of events leading to number of fatalities and injuries. Considering major crowd incidents, the stampedes were categorized based on location, triggering factor, type of event and year of occurrence. This paper lists a total of 137 stampedes occurred all over the world between the years 1883 and 2017. The details include the name and type of event, location of the event, number of injuries and fatalities, probable reason for the stampede and type of reliable source. Stampedes are classified based on type of events as religious, sports, entertainment, festival, political and others. Among all types of events, religious gatherings cause 64% of total fatalities and 51% injuries. The triggering factors are identified as rumours, fire, structural failure, narrow passage, overcrowding and others. Out of all the triggering factors mentioned above, narrow passage causes about 27% fatalities followed by overcrowding and rumours with 23 and 21% respectively. The majority of injuries caused by overcrowding turn out to be 35%. It is also observed that the frequency of stampede occurrences increasing since 1980. This study can be considered as an initial step in giving an overview of human stampedes, which would help to prepare a framework based on the past experiences. Further, it can give better insights for large-scale crowd management and to minimize the loss of human lives in future.


human stampedes; triggering factors; fatalities; injuries

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Copyright (c) 2020 Lakshmi Devi Vanumu, Laxmikant Laxmikant, K.Ramachandra Rao

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