After narrow exits created an untenable bottleneck, more than 60 people were injured during a “human crush” at the Falls Festival in Lorne, Australia over the weekend. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “13 women and six men were taken to hospital with lower leg fractures, pelvic fractures, and cuts and bruises.”
Several festival goers likened the crush to “falling dominoes,” with people losing their footing and falling atop each other. The stampede occurred just before 10 p.m. Friday as fans left DMA’s set to catch London Grammar at the festival’s Valley Stage.
Dr. Michael Gannon, president of the Australian Medical Association said he was amazed that no one was killed. Still, accounts of the crush from those involved are horrifying. One festival goer recalled the sounds of bones snapping and people screaming, “I am dying.”
“There were 10 people on top of me,” another said. “I felt the air get squished out of me. I just sort of accepted it. I just wanted it to be over. You’d almost die than have to go through that.”
In response, the festival organizers widened entrances to the tent and the area alongside the stage. They also added a pathway to a steep hill to help prevent slips and falls.
“The safety and wellbeing of our patrons is of paramount concern to us,” said a festival spokeswoman. “Whilst a very distressing situation, we are heartened and thankful for the amazing work of our medical teams and staff who responded with such care and support to those affected.”