Risk Prevention for Crowd Crush

As 2022 comes to an end, let us take a look back at the incidents that sadly took the lives of hundreds of people in a Crowd Crush, to act as reminder and preventing future catastrophe.

We seen the Kanjuruhan Incident, which can be described as an induced crowd crush incident, notably due to the actions the organizer and law enforcement took, including using tear gas inside the stadium, leading to a massive crowd crush.

Not long afterwards, around 5,000 km north of Jakarta, another crowd crush incident occurred in South Korea. This time, the incident took place on the streets, and although the area is outdoor, the streets are narrow and the density of people is significantly high.

The reopening of public events after the coronavirus pandemic plays a major role for the increasing number of events and people attending them, and thus we need to look into risk prevention efforts for crowd crush incidents. For organizer it is mandatory to prevent another tragedy from occurring, and for others we need to recognize the signs of a potential crowd crush, and how to avoid them.

Prof Ed Galea from University of Greenwich said that Crowd Crush is a situation where overcrowding occurs and there is narrowing of route for egress or evacuation. As a result, fatal incidents such as Progressive Crowd Collapse (falling and being stepped on), the risk of being crushed and suffocated (asphyxia), and collisions can occur.

Therefore, the first step to prevent crowd crush is to manage the number of people at any given moment of time. This is usually done using occupant density of the area. As researched by University of Suffolk, a density of 6 person/sqm is already considered as high risk. So organizer and law enforcement must calculate the maximum occupants and maximum occupant density beforehand, limiting the number of people to reduce the risk of crowd crush.

Next is to make sure there is no congestion or narrowing of walk lane for general walking purposes or for evacuation. This needs to be done properly using Risk Assessment approach. Make sure to check for blockage of exits and walkway as well.

Next is through crowd management and this requires teamwork from all ground staff, as well as coordination from the crowds themselves. One tools that can be used is Evacuation Computer Simulation tools to analyse the best possible crowd management system and approach for an event.

For specific-use occupancy such as stadium, guidelines and regulations are available. For stadium, FIFA Stadium Safety Guide mandates a thorough Fire Risk Assessment and / or Evacuation Assessment of the Stadium. So all stadiums in Indonesia are mandated to conduct this study by competent person. More details on that at our article regarding Kanjuruhan, also within this Insight section. Written By

Fahri Ali Imran



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