Caught in a stampede? Here’s a survival guide

On Friday, At least 23 commuters were killed a tragic stampede on a narrow railway foot-over bridge connecting the Parel-Elphinstone Road stations. A peaceful crowd can quickly turn into a senseless panicked heaving mass in which rational behaviuor by any single individual becomes nearly impossible. What’s worse is that the stampede can be triggered while there is no actual danger. Doctors share useful tips with My Medical Mantra, which will help you to increase your chances of survival

"If I don't stay with her now, who will?”

Panicked crowds move fast and release an incredible amount of energy. Once a crowd gets moving it is very hard to stop, and the flow of people could literally sweep you off your feet. So according to the doctors, commuters should follow a discipline. Dr Pratit Samdhani, General Physician from Jaslok Hospital, informed, “Commuters should follow a discipline. There should be two separate lines of people walking down and climbing stairs, which will lower the chances of a stampede.”

If the crowd around you becomes too dense, leave immediately advised doctors. Dr Gautam Bhansali, consulting general physician at Bombay Hospital said, “Try to find out an open space in order to avoid suffocation. Don’t panic and take a deep breath. As people breathe too fast, collapse and due to suffocation.”

A Guide to survive a stampede:

  • Don’t get hyper and take a deep breath.
  • Keep your hands in front of your chest.
  • If you fall, protect your head with your hands.
  • Don’t push against the crowd and don’t yell or scream.
  • Know all your exits.
  • Try to find an open space in order to avoid suffocation.
  • Commuters should follow a discipline.
  • If the crowd around you becomes too dense, leave immediately.
  • Make yourself aware of the type of ground you are standing on, and know that in a crowd of moving people wet or uneven ground can be slippery or hazardous, causing you to fall.
  • Try to stay on your feet. If you fall, try and get up as quickly as possible. if you have kids, lift them up.
  • Avoid barricades, railings and walls that you can be pinned against.
  • If you’re in danger ask people to crowd surf you out.