Prediction and mitigation of crush conditions in emergency evacuations

Peter J Harding, Martyn Amos, Steve Gwynne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2008
EditorsWolfram W. F. Klingsch, Christian Rogsch, Andreas Schadschneider, Michael Schreckenberg
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783642045042
ISBN (Print)9783642045035
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2010
Event4th International Conference on Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics - Wuppertal, Germany
Duration: 1 Jun 2008 → …


Conference4th International Conference on Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics
Abbreviated titlePED 2008
Period1/06/08 → …


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