At least 22 people lost their lives in a huge stampede at Mumbai’s completely packed by mob Elphinstone railway station. This tragedy occurred somewhat around 10:30am on a foot-over bridge, reportedly triggered by unexpected heavy rains.
How can you save yourself from such stampedes? Here are some tips which can be helpful if you ever come across any sort of stampedes anywhere in the world.
1Notice Alternate Exits
The first thing to look for in a crowded situation is the exit route. If you’re attending an event or know that some places can get very crowded very fast, make a note of where the exits are.
2Keep Your Hands by Your Chest
Keep your hands up by your chest, similar to a boxing stance. This makes it easier to move. In a stampede-like situation, when the crowd pushes you from front and back, your lungs are the first victims. By putting your hands in a boxing position, it stops your ribs from being crushed by the crowd.
3How to Move When on Your Feet
In the middle of a moving crowd, do not resist the flow of people by standing still or sitting down. The force is too great to fight.
Like in a wave, there is force and a lull in a crowd situation. Keep moving diagonally between pockets of people whenever there is a lull. Try to move towards the exits but not towards walls or fences where you might be cornered.
Keep moving with the crowd to avoid falling.
4How to Move If You Fall
If you do fall and fail to get back on your feet, cover your head with your hands and curl-up in the foetal position. Basically, avoid exposing your lungs to the crowd. Keep trying to find an opportunity to get up.
Conserve energy: While keeping your calm is easier said than done, one must try not to scream since that only increases panic, both of yourself and those around you.
Use sign language: Try to communicate with those around you by pointing, waving, etc.
It’s not possible to remember all these pointers when you’re in a panic, but even a chance recollection could save your life.