The tragic deaths of at least 19 people after a stampede sparked by mass panic at a music festival in Duisburg, Germany, this summer serve as important reminder that poor organization and inadequate safety management can lead to disaster.
All events – from sports to festivals to ceremonies – face unique risks. As events grow in size, new risks emerge, as the emotion of the crowd can be unpredictable and extremely dangerous. According to insurer Munich RE, it takes only eight seconds for mass panic to develop, and a minor scuffle can be a significant trigger. The bottleneck created by a group of 50 people rushing to an exit can create pressure of up to one ton on the people in the front, according to scientific journal Nature.