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The Dangers of Stampedes

Today is Thanksgiving in America. This involves people sitting around the dining table giving thanks and gorging on a feast of food. In A&E on thanksgiving a lot of people present with signs of choking, cooking burns, and cuts. The day after is Black Friday, a day notorious for massive sales and deals. Queues line up outside of shops and this tradition has made its way across the pond here to the UK.

What happens when all these people rush into the shop at once?

We get a stampede. There is a risk of crushing and ultimately death. If you fall into a crowd, your chances are not good.

People will walk over your body and take your place in the crowd, making it difficult to try and stand up. Pressure starts to build in your body, making it impossible to use your arms to shield your head or to help you try to stand. Then you will begin struggling to breathe. Within three to five minutes of being caught in a crowd, you could die of asphyxiation, the lack of oxygen to the brain.

You could also die from traumatic injuries such as blunt injuries to the head or chest. Your ribs might break from people walking on you, piercing your lungs and causing them to collapse and have internal bleeding.

One recent case of crowd crush happened in Seoul, South Korea on Halloween which left 153 people dead. People fell and knocked others down, causing people to pile up and become trapped with no way of escaping.

It is a very nasty and unpleasant way to die. So instead of crowding outside of the shops to try and get a bargain, how about waiting until cyber-Monday to do some online shopping instead? This is much safer, and you can do it from the comfort of your home without the risk of being crushed or what you wanted is sold out.

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