[Breaking News] Stampede at Israel Religious Celebration Kills at Least 45

While relatively common in the third world it is rare that large numbers of deaths are seen in stampedes in advanced, industrialized countries:

I suppose it’s because of the heavy influence of the Orthodox parties in the Israeli government that they can get away with not following safety measures in a religious festival.

The one that comes to mind (in an advanced, industrialized nation) is the 1980s Hillsborough Disaster, where 96 died.

Like kids being left in hot cars, this seems to be one of those dangers that people just will not take seriously until enough tragedies happen one after the other to force them to.

I’m surprised that this Montreal disaster from 1927 wasn’t included in the Wiki list (the one unlocked emergency exit had a door that opened inwards). At least 76 children died in the crush.Due to this (and additional pressure from the RC Church), no children were allowed into movies in Montreal (some exceptions) until the early 60’s. Suburban theatres were quick to take advantage. The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search

The industrialized world/first world tends to have stricter codes, regulations, and laws based on crowd-crush disasters in the 19th/early 20th century, such as the one involving the Iroquois Theater that killed 602 people in 1903.

We do get them but they tend to be combined with a simultaneous other disaster, like a fire (Iroquois Theater, for example). The most recent to hit triple digits in the US was the The Station fire in Rhode Island in 2003, with 100 deaths. It wasn’t that long ago.

Even in places that are prone to such disasters, though - Mecca during the haj being one example - death rates have been dropping over the past century. My guess is that the concept of “crowd control” and measures to discourage/mitigate such situations have been disseminated world-wide. They aren’t always followed, of course, but such knowledge and practice probably has helped considerably.

Perhaps you should contact Wikipedia and suggest the addition.

Even if all safety procedures are scrupulously followed any time you have a large, dense crowd of human beings there is a risk of such an event occurring. From what I’ve managed to find out on line, attendance at the festival this year is about 1/3 of a normal year. Given that annual Lag Bomer parties have been held in that location since the 2nd Century AD without such tragedies being a common feature of them I have to conclude that there is an element of bad luck at work here.

That said, of course the event should be investigated and if changes can be made to make such a rare event even more rare and unlikely that would be a worthwhile thing to do.

The 1927 Montreal disaster is listed by Wiki under “Building or structure fires”, although few (if any) of the children were killed by the actual effects of the fire (which was relatively minor) - they died in the crush to get out (i.e. “panic”)…

From reports I’ve read, the crowd was a lot smaller than prior years, but the police also cut down on the number of individual events at the site (due to covid), so the number at a given event might have as high or higher than prior years.

It would appear that the whole situation was a highly dangerous one. But the immediate trigger would appear to have been misguided police action rather than the absence of all direction. Numerous eyewitness reports consistently state that the police actually blocked off the exit from a narrow tunnel into which the crowd was pouring, which resulted in the passageway becoming much more crowded and compressed than would normally have been the case, and it was at that point that the crush occurred. (As the crush grew, people began begging the police to let the people exit, but it took a few minutes until they allowed egress.) It’s unclear exactly why the police did this (I saw one report which said someone had a heart attack) but in any event it would appear at this early point that this was a major - if not the major - contributor to the tragedy.