The June edition of #*IT Happens reported on a minor incident of crowd crush at Justin Bieber’s Sydney concert , and last month we delved further into the issue to present a model explaining the causes of crowd crush . On the 24th of July, another crush occurred in Germany, leaving 21 people dead and at least 500 injured. This should serve as the most chilling reminder of how seriously event and venue managers need to take the issue. The Incident
The incident occurred during the Love Parade, an annual electronic dance music event. As part of this festival, an old enclosed railway station was used as a venue; the openings at the ends of the 100-metre tunnel served as the only entry and exit points to the area.
The tunnel reportedly became too full, and police began announcing that no new entry should occur. The entry side of the tunnel was closed, and people then began trying to gain access from the back of the tunnel. This caused complete overcrowding of the area which led to the crush. The publicly-released autopsy results indicate all deaths were due to compression asphyxiation (crushed rib cages).
The event is free and entry is not controlled, meaning it is difficult to estimate what the attendance will be, and at what level the current attendance is.
The Guardian reported that the event organisers ignored advice from safety experts warning that the venue was only large enough to hold 500,000 people (about 1.4 million eventually attended), and that there were significant risks associated with large numbers of people moving through the unsealed tunnel.