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Death Toll Mounts in Saudi Carnage

Posted by feww on September 26, 2015

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Saudi officials most probably manipulated crowd flow to trigger deadly stampede

The death toll in the deadly Hajj stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, has climbed to 769, Saudi Health Minister Khalid al-Falid said earlier today. 

“The latest statistics … reveal 769 dead. That is an increase of 52 on the previous figures,” he told reporters. “Those are the ones who died in various hospitals since the event.”

At least 934 others were injured, according to the Saudi media.

The grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, its most senior cleric, has said the stampede on Thursday was beyond human control.

That’s of course hogwash, as any self-respecting crowd-movement analyst would confirm. Crowd dynamics is a mature science. In the same way that crowd behaviors can be modeled and their movements controlled to ensure public safety, the rate of flow and other mob behaviors could easily be manipulated to intentionally trigger a deadly stampede, like the latest carnage in Mina.

Crowd modelling has grown into a highly effective analytical tool. Models predict with high degrees of accuracy what happens in a given space when the rate of crowd flow is altered, or if the swarms are faced with sudden surges, obstacles and bottlenecks in the flow direction.

The carnage that occurred in Saudi Arabia on Thursday was most certainly NOT “beyond human control,” as the mufti suggests; instead, it was most probably caused intentionally by those who were controlling the crowd movements.

Crowd Modelling & Analysis has posted the following information on their website:

To fully understand and care for the well being of crowds, it’s not enough to study the history books or second guess human nature. You have to be able to model, simulate and predict crowd movement, with all the pressures, risks, delays actions and reactions that large groups of people can generate.

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One Response to “Death Toll Mounts in Saudi Carnage”

  1. Reg said

    1,453 people were killed in Mecca’s Hajj stampede of September 24, 2015, according to the AP news agency.

    The new death toll, as reported by AP, is based on official publications from all countries who lost pilgrims in the stampede and nearly double Riyadh’s latest figures.

    Saudi authorities have said the Sept. 24 crush and stampede occurred when two waves of pilgrims converged on a narrow road, causing hundreds of people to suffocate or be trampled to death, putting the causality toll at 769 killed and 934 injured. Iran says it had 465 pilgrims killed, while Egypt lost 148 and Indonesia 120.
    Others include India with 101, Nigeria with 99, Pakistan with 93, Mali with 70, Bangladesh with 63, Senegal with 54, Benin with 51, Cameroon with 42, Ethiopia with 31, Sudan with 30, Morocco with 27, Algeria with 25, Ghana with 12, Chad with 11, Kenya with eight and Turkey with three.

    The Sept. 11 collapse of a crane at Mecca’s Grand Mosque killed 111 people.

    The exact number of the injured is not known at this time.

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