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. Stampedes are believed to originate from biological responses in the brains
and endocrine systems
of herd animals. The response is believed to have evolved to help animals escape predators.
A large stampede will frequently eliminate anything in its path. In farmed animals, herd managers, sometimes called 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.
Specific animals associated with stampede behaviour are cattle, elephants, Blue Wildebeests, wild horses and humans.
The term stampede, also known as a crush
, commonly describes a sudden rush of a crowd of people, usually resulting in many injuries and death from suffocation
and trampling. Human stampedes most often occur during religious pilgrimages, professional sporting and music events. They also often occur in times of mass panic
, as a result of a fire or explosion, as people try to get away.
The annual Muslim Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is attended by millions of pilgrims, has increasingly suffered from stampedes and other disasters even as authorities have constructed new walkways and instituted other traffic controls to prevent them.
In India, stampedes occur regularly during Hindu religious holidays. Called "temple crushes" by the local press, they are often caused by railings giving way as pilgrims climb steep hills to reach a temple.
List of human stampedes
- 10 October 1872: 19 women and children were killed in a stampede and resulting stairs collapse in a synagogue in Ostrów Wielkopolski during the feast of Yom Kippur. Failure of gas lighting engulfed a synagogue balcony in darkness, causing panic among the women.
- May 30 1883: 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.
- June 16, 1883: Over 180 out of 1,100 children died in the Victoria Hall disaster in Sunderland, England when they stampeded down the stairs to collect gifts from the entertainers after the end of a variety show.
- May 18, 1896: 1,389 people were killed and 1,300 injured in the Khodynka Tragedy, a crush of those desiring to get presents during the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II.
- January 11, 1908: 16 children were killed in the Barnsley Public Hall Disaster in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, when someone in the hall shouted 'Fire!'
- 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 "shouting fire in a crowded theater."
- 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.
- January 1, 1956: 124 people were killed during the New Year panic and stampede at Yahiko Shrine, Yahiko, central Niigata, Japan.
- December 3, 1979: 11 people were killed during a crush at a The Who concert at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati. The incident led to a reduced use of festival seating at US venues. The event was later portrayed offstage on WKRP in Cincinnati.
- October 20, 1982: at least 66 people were killed in the Luzhniki disaster
- May 29, 1985: 39 people were killed in the Heysel Stadium disaster
- April 15, 1989: 96 people were killed in the Hillsborough Disaster at a football stadium in Sheffield, England.
- January 1, 1993: 21 people were killed and 48 injured as huge crowd celebrate the New Year's Day at Lan Kwai Fong of Hong Kong.
- October 30, 1993: 73 student fans injured, six critically, by a crowd crush shortly after a football game at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Camp Randall Stadium.
- May 1994: 270 people were killed at Jamarat Bridge in Mecca during the stoning of the Devil.
- 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.
- March, 1998: 70 people were killed when fans at Nepal's national soccer stadium stampede for the exits during a hailstorm.
- April 1998: 119 people were killed at the Hajj in Mecca.
- May 30, 1999: Niamiha disaster: 53 people died in a stampede at the Nemiga metro station in Minsk, Belarus.
- April 11, 2001: 43 people were crushed in the Ellis Park Stadium disaster.
- May 2001: 126 killed at a football match in Accra, Ghana after police fire tear gas at rioters.
- February 6, 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, many of them trampled.
- February 2004: 251 people were killed at Jamarat Bridge in Mecca during the stoning of the devil.
- 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: 74 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: Fifty-one 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.
- 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.
- July 13, 2008: 23 people died in the al-Mureikh stadium stampede disaster, during a graduation ceremony at Omdurman, Sudan.
- 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 may have been triggered 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.
- October 8, 2008: None were killed during a stampede at the Medhus residence of New Canaan, CT.