After Armory tragedy, security expert talks what to do if trapped in stampede

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Right now, one woman is still fighting for her life at strong hospital. Two others are dead after being trampled at Sunday night’s concert at the Main Street Armory in Rochester.

So, how many people were inside the armory? Were emergency exits available? The owner of the Armory was a no show at today’s scheduled meeting with the city and police chief – so still no answers.

Now the armory can no longer hold events.

News10NBC spoke with a security crowd management expert who says there are things you can do to increase your chances of survival while trapped in crowd crush.

Paul Wertheimer, with Crowd Management Strategies says the concert’s set up was a disaster waiting to happen. It’s called festival seating – a standing room only concert.

“Standing room forces people to compete against each other for that perfect spot,” says Wertheimer.

If you find yourself in that situation, Paul says there are things you can do when no one is there to help you and you’re trapped. Try not panic or freak out. First look for an open space and don’t resist the crowd Paul says.

“One of the things you want to do is keep up with the pace of the stampede so you’re not trampled, if you can do that,” says Wertheimer. “The other thing is to look for something you can hide behind, a structure, a barricade, something to get you out of the crowd and you find some kind of safe haven.”

If you can’t find a safe place, try to move toward the outer edge of the crowd. If you can figure out where that is.

If that doesn’t work and you are stuck in the thick of things, don’t fight against the crowd. 

“You want to flow with the crowd. You want to take the path of least resistance,” says Wertheimer.

Paul says if you drop your phone or any personal belongings, let it go, once you bend down to pick up something, that’s a death sentence.

“Just like a crowd crush, don’t stop to pick it up,” says Wertheimer. “You’re more likely than not to get knocked down. And if you’re knocked down you may not be able to get up and you may be trampled.”

We’ve reached out to the Armory owner and his lawyer and they have not returned our calls. As of now, the Armory is shut down to all events.