Was It Panic? An Overview About Mass-Emergencies and Their Origins All Over the World for Recent Years

  • Christian Rogsch
  • Michael Schreckenberg
  • Eric Tribble
  • Wolfram Klingsch
  • Tobias Kretz
Conference paper


Mass-emergencies are very popular in the news, whether we watch news on TV or read a newspaper. In most of these news we are able to read that people were fallen in panic or a mass-panic occured. This is a simple, but often used explanation why people died in such situations. But is that the truth? If we look at selected mass-emergencies like Bergisel-Stadium we can see, that the loss of a shoe was the origin of this phenomenon, where five girls died. One pedestrian lost a shoe while he was walking to the exit. He stopped to put on his shoe, but because of the high density of pedestrians, the other pedestrian were not able to sidestep at this moment, thus they had to stop. The pedestrians behind them did not see the boy putting on his shoe and thus they pressed against the other pedestrians, just for fun. In this case, the phenomenon of behavior was not panic, we will call this crush with very local panic behavior.

Based on 127 mass-emergencies the authors want to show how often a real mass-panic occurs and what are the real origins of these mass-emergencies.


Human Behavior Saudi Arabia Collective Behavior Panic Attack Wood Smoke 
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

  • Christian Rogsch
    • 1
  • Michael Schreckenberg
    • 2
  • Eric Tribble
    • 1
  • Wolfram Klingsch
    • 1
  • Tobias Kretz
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Building Material Technology and Fire Safety ScienceUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  2. 2.Physics of Transportation and TrafficUniversity Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany
  3. 3.PTV AGKarlsruheGermany

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