Scientists said that the tragedy that occurred in the United States during the performance of musician Travis Scott, could be even worse. It can be explained in terms of physics.
The loss of life at the Astroworld in Houston resembles a perfect storm of dangerous circumstances – a situation created by the addition of a number of adverse factors, as a result of which their total negative effect significantly increases. Observers note that mass deaths in stampedes at concerts today remain rare and almost disappear as precedents. But after the Astroworld festival, there is a fact: nine people died during Scott’s performance due to the fact that the audience literally rushed to the stage.
Of course, there was a human factor. Police say rapper Sicko Mode, the festival’s headliner, was warned of the situation, but no public safety measures were taken.
Much of the blame lies with Scott and the people he hired to organize and control the crowd. It is also widely believed that panic engulfing the crowd was the leading cause of death and injury, including at least 11 heart attacks among young and apparently healthy visitors.
As Business Insider points out, the science and, in particular, the theory of physics behind the study of gases and liquids may provide some answers to the huge questions surrounding the Astroworld tragedy.
“When people are tightly packed into a crowd of less than four people per square meter, they have the ability to make their own decisions and act on them,” the report says. “But when the density of the crowd rises above four people per square meter, especially up to six or more, something strange happens: people are so tightly pressed against each other that they begin to move together as one whole, with waves of pressure and relaxation.”
“In other words,” the article adds, “human bodies behave like a liquid. It looks like this is exactly what happened on Friday at Astroworld. ”
When crowds get extremely dense and people start to fall, as computational sociologist Dirk Helbing told the Smithsonian Institution in 2017, it can create a “black hole” effect in which people, as well as garments and shoes, can fall. A ripple effect arises: the more people fall into these “black holes”, the more those who surround them fall.
“I haven’t seen a crush caused the mass deaths,” British massacre specialist Keith Still told The Guardian in 2015 after more than 2,200 people died on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. “People don’t die because of panic. They panic because they are dying. “