Prediction and Mitigation of Crush Conditions in Emergency Evacuations

  • Peter J. Harding
  • Martyn Amos
  • Steve Gwynne
Conference paper


Several simulation environments exist for the simulation of large-scale evacuations of buildings, ships, or other enclosed spaces. These offer sophisticated tools for the study of human behaviour, the recreation of environmental factors such as fire or smoke, and the inclusion of architectural or structural features, such as elevators, pillars and exits. Although such simulation environments can provide insights into crowd behaviour, they lack the ability to examine potentially dangerous forces building up within a crowd. These are commonly referred to as crush conditions, and are a common cause of death in emergency evacuations.

In this paper, we describe a methodology for the prediction and mitigation of crush conditions. The paper is organised as follows. We first establish the need for such a model, defining the main factors that lead to crush conditions, and describing several exemplar case studies. We then examine current methods for studying crush, and describe their limitations. From this, we develop a three-stage hybrid approach, using a combination of techniques. We conclude with a brief discussion of the potential benefits of our approach.


Simulation Environment International Maritime Organisation Evacuation Plan Crowd Behaviour Emergency Evacuation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.Hughes Associates, IncBoulderUSA

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