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Crush disasters: Thoughts after South Korea

   Crush disasters: Thoughts after South Korea

The tragedy in South Korea that occurred over the weekend reminds us that large numbers of people gathered together tightly as mobile crowds present a considerable hazard. There have been many similar disasters and the list here makes for sober reading.

Much has been written about principles of safety at mass crowd events. The precise circumstances and levels of risk presented by each will vary according to many factors, including context (religious gatherings and pilgrimages, festivals, demonstrations, sporting events, public transport settings, entertainment venues and so on), local weather conditions, space design, structural integrity, crowd control arrangements, communications and so on. 

Understanding of measures necessary to prevent or mitigate the risk of crush disasters is necessary in many contexts, from the design of public spaces, to the organisation and control of mass participation events and the preparedness of emergency services. The public too need to understand the dangers presented by crowds. 

Although risk assessment of mass crushing events will be specific to particular circumstances, is there a case for a review of existing law, standards and guidance (example here) to see what might be needed to strengthen safety and risk management in this area?

Might there be a case for establishing a specialist group to review and study the issues involved? (Perhaps this work is already underway).

If, as appears to be the case, the UK already has considerable expertise in this area, what are the opportunities for sharing this knowledge more widely around the world?
 
Posted: 11/1/2022 1:29:44 PM 0 comments



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