A stampede is an act of mass impulse among herd animals or a crowd of people in which the herd (or crowd) collectively begins running with no clear direction or purpose.
Species associated with stampede behavior include cattle, elephants, blue wildebeests, walruses, wild horses, rhinoceros, and humans.
Anything unusual may start a stampede. Especially at night, things such as lighting a match, someone jumping off a horse, a horse shaking itself, a lightning strike, a tumbleweed blown into the herd, or "a horse running through a herd kicking at a saddle which has turned under its belly" have been known to cause a stampede. This is not to be confused with a race, which is not a stampede. Cattle that have just fed and which are more spread out are less likely to stampede.
A large stampede will frequently eliminate anything in its path. With farmed animals, cowboys attempt to turn the moving herd into itself, so that it runs in circles rather than self-destructing by running over a cliff or into a river, or from damaging human life or property by overrunning human settlements. Tactics used to make the herd turn into itself include firing a pistol (i.e. using the noise) to make the leaders of the stampede turn.
Cowboys will sometimes sing or whistle at night to reassure the herd. Those on watch at night will often be careful not to do things which may startle the herd, but to ride a distance away first (e.g. before dismounting a horse or lighting a match) so as not to cause a stampede.
Sometimes, people purposefully induce cattle to stampede as a component of warfare or hunting, such as some Native Americans did to cause American bison to kill themselves at a buffalo jump.
Human stampedes most often occur during religious pilgrimages and professional sporting and music events, as these events tend to involve a large number of people. They also often occur in times of mass panic (e.g. as a result of a fire or explosion) as people try to get away.
Photograph from a Japanese language extra edition newspaper from January 1934, showing the aftermath of the human stampede at the Kyoto Railroad Station. The images show Imperial Japanese Navy personnel trying to help victims. This stampede caused 77 deaths and 74 injuries.
Deaths from human stampedes occur primarily from compressive asphyxiation, not trampling. This is referred to as crowd crush. The compressive force occurs from both horizontal pushing and vertical stacking.
The worst stampede in recorded history took place in Chongqing, China, during World War II. Japanese bombing of the city on June 6, 1941, triggered mass panic at an air raid shelter, killing approximately 4,000 people, most of them by suffocation.
In 1908, a stampede caused the death of 16 children at a public hall in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. It became known as the Barnsley Public Hall Disaster. A popularly quoted cause of stampedes is "Shouting fire in a crowded theater", which has occurred in such instances as the Italian Hall disaster.
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It has been claimed Human stampedes can be prevented by organization and traffic control, such as barriers. On the other hand, barriers in some cases may funnel the crowd towards an already-packed area, such as in the Hillsborough disaster. Hence barriers can be a solution in preventing or a key factor in causing a stampede. One problem is lack of feedback from people being crushed to the crowd pressing behind – feedback can instead be provided by police, organizers, or other observers, particularly raised observers, such as on platforms or horseback, who can survey the crowd, and use loudspeakers to communicate and direct a crowd.
that most major crowd disasters can be prevented by simple crowd management strategies.
At the individual level, warning signs of a crowd crush include density of more than four people per square meter, at which each person is being touched on four sides. To avoid or escape from a crowd crush, one is advised to move sideways, particularly between swells.
After the stampede in the Victoria Hall disaster in 1883, a law (still in force as of 2008) was passed in England which required all public entertainment venues to be equipped with doors that open outwards. Crash bars are required by various building codes.
List of notable human stampedes
- 11 October 1711: 245 people were killed in a stampede on the bridge of the Guillotière in Lyon. This was caused by the coach of Madame Servient being in the middle of the bridge while many people came back from a fest on the other side of the Rhône.
|100||March 29, 1809||Ponte das Barcas||Portugal||Hundreds of Portuguese civilians die trying to cross the Ponte das Barcas bridge in a desperate attempt to escape the troops of Marshal Soult, assaulting Oporto in the context of the Napoleonic Wars. The bridge was not able to endure the pressure of the terrorized multitude.|
|19||October 10, 1872||Ostrów Wielkopolski Synagogue||Poland||19 women and children were killed in a stampede and resulting stairs collapse in a synagogue in Ostrów Wielkopolski during the fast of Yom Kippur. Failure of gas lighting engulfed a synagogue balcony (apparently, the women's gallery) in darkness, causing panic among the women.|
|278||December 5, 1876||Brooklyn Theater Fire||United States||Crushes on gallery and balcony staircases during the Brooklyn Theater Fire delayed the evacuation of the building, a contributing factor in the deaths of at least 278 individuals.|
|12||May 30, 1883||Brooklyn Bridge||United States||12 people were killed and dozens injured after a woman tripped on the stairway at the Brooklyn Bridge, which had been open for eight days at the time. The crush was exacerbated by fears the bridge was about to collapse.|
|180||June 16, 1883||Victoria Hall disaster||England||Over 1,100 children stampeded down the stairs to collect gifts from the entertainers after the end of a variety show in Sunderland.|
|1389||May 18, 1896||Khodynka Tragedy||Russia||A crush of those desiring to get presents during the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II - 1,300 more were injured.|
- December 30, 1903: The Iroquois Theatre Fire in Chicago claimed the lives of 602 people, many of whom died of crush asphyxiation in the rush to escape.
- January 11, 1908: 16 children were killed in the Barnsley Public Hall Disaster in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England
- December 24, 1913: 73 people were crushed to death in the Italian Hall Disaster in Calumet, Michigan. This event is considered the legal source for the often-cited First Amendment limitation of "falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater."
- October 23, 1942: during an attack by Bomber Command on Genoa, 354 people were killed as they rushed into Galleria delle Grazie, a railway tunnel in use as an air-raid shelter. People rushing down the 150 steps which led under the ground and into the shelter fell on top of one another leading to the extremely heavy toll of the stampede.
- March 3, 1943: Bethnal Green 173 people were killed as people tried to get into an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green underground station, east London. Anti-aircraft fire reportedly frightened the crowd, causing them to run for the shelter. When a woman carrying a baby tripped on the stairs, others fell over her, triggering the crush.
- March 9, 1946: 33 people were killed in the Burnden Park disaster when the collapse of two crash barriers in an overcrowded stand led to the crowd falling forward.
- 1954 500-800 killed at Kumbha Mela, Allahabad.
- January 1, 1956: 124 people were killed during the New Year panic and stampede at Yahiko Shrine, Yahiko, central Niigata, Japan.
- January 2, 1971: 66 people were killed in the Second Ibrox Disaster, when the collapse of stairway barriers led to a crush as fans were leaving the stadium.
- December 3, 1979: 11 people were killed during a crush at a concert by The Who at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati. The incident led to a reduced use of festival seating at US venues.
- October 20, 1982: 66 people were killed in the Luzhniki disaster at the eponymous stadium in Moscow.
- May 29, 1985: 39 people were killed in the Heysel Stadium disaster at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.
- March 13, 1988: 93 people were killed when fans at Nepal's national football stadium stampede for the exits during a hailstorm.
- August 20, 1988: 2 people were crushed to death during a Guns N' Roses concert at a Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park, England. Lead singer Axl Rose shouted "Don't fucking kill each other!".
- April 15, 1989: 96 people were killed in the Hillsborough disaster at the eponymous football stadium in Sheffield, England.
- July 2, 1990: A stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma'aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina, Saudi Arabia and the Plains of Arafat led to the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims.
- January 13, 1991: At least 40 people were killed at a football match in Orkney, South Africa.
- February 13, 1991: 42 people were killed, 55 injured in Mexican Chalma sanctuary after being overwhelmed by a crowd trying to enter the temple to receive the signal from the ashes.
- June 27, 1992: More than 500 people were injured in Munich, Germany when the crowd at pop singer Michael Jackson's debut Dangerous concert became overwhelmed and began rushing at the barriers causing several to have to be lifted from the crowd. Similar fainting and "over-whelmings" occurred at many of Jackson's shows.
- January 1, 1993: 21 people were killed and 48 injured as a huge crowd celebrated the New Year's Day at Lan Kwai Fong of Hong Kong.
- October 30, 1993: 73 student fans were injured, six critically, by a crowd crush shortly after a football game at the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Camp Randall Stadium.
- May 23, 1994: 270 people were killed at Jamarat Bridge in Mecca during the stoning of the Devil.
- November 23, 1994: more than 113 tribals mostly women and children perished in a disastrous stampede triggered by the cane wielding police who attempted to prevent the estimated crowd of 40,000 from pressing towards the Vidhan Bhavan at Nagpur in Maharashtra State of India.
- October 16, 1996: 82 killed, 147 injured on a steep stadium stairway prior to a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica in the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.
- April 9, 1998: At least 118 Hajj pilgrims were trampled to death and 180 injured in an incident on Jamarat Bridge in Mecca.
- May 30, 1999: Niamiha disaster: 53 people died in a stampede at the Nemiga metro station in Minsk, Belarus.
- June 30, 2000: The Roskilde Festival disaster, in which 9 people were crushed during a Pearl Jam concert at Roskilde Festival, Denmark.
- March 5, 2001: Thirty five Hajj pilgrims were trampled to death in a stampede during the Stoning of the Devil ritual in Mina, Saudi Arabia.
- April 11, 2001: 43 people were crushed in the Ellis Park Stadium disaster in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- May 9, 2001: 126 killed in a football match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak in Accra Sports Stadium, Ghana after police fired tear gas at rioters.
- 21 July 2001: 11 people killed and 247 injured by a pedestrian stampede after a fireworks show in Akashi, Hyōgo.
- December 21, 2001: 7 children, 10 to 14 years of age, were crushed to death due to a stampede on the stairway leading to the entrance of a nightclub in Sofia, Bulgaria.
- February 11, 2003: The Stoning of the Devil ritual claimed 14 pilgrims' lives.
- February 17, 2003: 21 people were killed in the stairway exit to E2, a nightclub in Chicago, after a pepper spray use on an upper-story dance floor.
- February 20, 2003: 100 killed in The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island, many of them trampled.
- February 4, 2004: At least 37 people were dead with 15 were injured, when a crowd stampede, during Lantern Festival in Mihong Park, Miyun County, Beijing, China.
- February 1, 2004: 251 people were killed at Jamarat Bridge in Mecca during the stoning of the devil.
- April 12, 2004. Lucknow, India. At least 21 women were killed in a stampede after people rushed to collect free sarees. Referred to as Saree Stampede.
- September 1, 2004: Three die in Saudi shop stampede.
- January 2005: 265 people were killed as Hindu pilgrims stampede near a remote temple in Maharashtra, India.
- August 31, 2005: 1000 people were killed in a Baghdad bridge stampede
- December 2005: 42 people were killed as flood relief supplies were handed out to homeless refugees in southern India.
- January 12, 2006: 345 killed at Jamarat Bridge in Mecca during the stoning of the devil.
- February 4, 2006: 78 people were killed in the PhilSports Arena stampede in the Philippines. The place was the location of the first year anniversary of ABS-CBN's Wowowee.
- September 12, 2006: 51 killed and more than 200 injured at a stampede in Ibb Governorate, Yemen.
- June 2, 2007: 12 people were killed during a stampede at the end of a football game between Zambia and Republic of Congo in Chililabombwe, Zambia.
- October 3, 2007: At least 14 women were crushed to death at a train station in northern India.
- October 5, 2007: After a crowd of 15,000 watched a public execution in a stadium in Sunchon, North Korea, 6 people were crushed to death and 34 injured.
- November 11, 2007: 3 people were killed and more than 30 injured at the Supermarket Carrefour in Chongqing, China when the shop was offering 20% discounts on cooking oil.
- March 27, 2008: 8 people were killed and 10 injured at an Indian temple crush during a pilgrimage.
- June 20, 2008: At least 12 people were killed and 13 injured at a Mexico City nightclub stampede during a police raid.
- August 3, 2008: At least 162 people were killed and 47 injured in a stampede at the Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh in mountainous northern India after a rain shelter collapsed, which worshipers mistakenly took to be a landslide.
- September 14, 2008: At least 11 people were killed when a riot was dispersed by tear gas during a football match in Butembo, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- September 30, 2008: 147 people were killed during the Chamunda Devi stampede at the Chamunda Devi temple in Jodhpur, India. The tragedy was caused by a rumor that a bomb was planted in the temple complex. Local authorities, however, blamed steep, slippery slopes leading to the temple.
- October 2, 2008: About 20 children died in a stampede in an overcrowded children's dance hall in Tanzania.
- March 29, 2009: The Houphouët-Boigny Arena stampede. 19 people killed and 130 injured in a stampede at a football stadium in Côte d'Ivoire as fans try to squeeze into the stadium for a World Cup qualifier.
- March 4, 2010: At least 71 killed and over 200 injured at Ram Janki Temple, in Kunda, India, in a stampede after the gates of the temple collapsed.
- May 4, 2010: 63 people were injured when a panic-driven stampede broke out during the Remembrance of the Dead ceremony on Dam Square, Amsterdam.
- June 6, 2010: 14 people were injured when fans rushed to get inside Makulong Stadium after free tickets were given out to a friendly soccer match between Nigeria and North Korea.
- July 24, 2010: The Love Parade disaster, in which 21 people were killed and more than 500 were injured during a mass panic at the Love Parade in Duisburg, Germany.
- November 22, 2010: A stampede during a water festival near Cambodia's royal palace in Phnom Penh killed at least 347 people.
- January 15, 2011: 102 people died and 100 were injured during a stampede near Sabarimala temple in Kerala, India.
- January 15, 2011: 3 girls died, 14 people injured in a panic-driven stampede in a Budapest discothèque during a party.
- November 8, 2011: 16 people were killed at Haridwar, India during a religious ceremony in the banks of Ganges river.
- January 1, 2013: 60 dead, including 26 children, and more than 200 injured in a stampede at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny during a New Year's fireworks celebration in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
- January 1, 2013: 10 people were killed and 120 injured in Luanda, Angola, as they tried to enter the overcrowded Estádio da Cidadela for a New Year's Eve vigil.
- February 10, 2013 : A stampede causing the death of 36 people due to breaking of a railing bridge at a railway station. 
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