In South Carolina, at least two separate incidents occurred on the Fourth of July in which the sound of fireworks were mistaken for gunfire. As a result, panicked crowds rushed to flee the scene, causing stampedes that left people traumatized and suffering potentially serious personal injuries. Unfortunately, due to the tragedies such as the Charleston church shooting and the mass shooting in Las Vegas, people are on alert, and nerves are on edge. While you want to be able to enjoy your normal activities, there are actions you should take when in crowds to protect yourself in the event that things get out of control.
Riots Result Over Fireworks in Two Locations
It is a tradition for many families to get together over the Fourth of July and to top off a fun filled evening with fireworks. Unfortunately, in light of increased public alert over mass shootings, events in two South Carolina locations took a bad turn. Fox Carolina reports that in Greenville, crowds gathered downtown panicked during a portion of the fireworks festivities. As rumors of an armed gunman spread quickly through the crowds, people took off running in all directions. Social media was filled with reports of crying, traumatized children, frightened parents, and people who claimed to suffer injuries as the result.
A similar scenario occurred in Myrtle Beach. According to the Sun News, vacationers by the thousands flocked to Broadway at the Beach for the holiday, a popular destination that holds weekly fireworks shows. Unfortunately, rumors swirled there as well regarding a potential shooter in the crowd. As armed police and SWAT team members swarmed the area, people scrambled and ran over one another to get to exits. The local department later issued a statement that the ruckus was caused by several fights that had broken out, and that there were no shooting victims or signs that such an incident had occurred. Again, frightened witnesses took to social media, relaying through posts and videos the trauma and losses they suffered.
Protecting Yourself in a Crowd
Unfortunately, it only takes one or two people yelling about a gun to trigger a frenzied stampede. As a result, it pays to be aware of the risks anywhere that a large crowd is involved. The following are some ways to protect yourself and your loved ones when attending sporting events, festivals, concerts, or other outdoor events:
As soon as you arrive, make note of all entrances and exits
Keep an eye on security and note the number of police at the scene
Avoid getting too deep in the crowd, and instead stand or sit in outer areas
If an incident occurs, try to keep calm, make sure your family or friends are together, and make your way to the nearest exit
Contact Us Today for Help
Property owners and managers can be held accountable for injuries that occur on their property and for failing to provide security for major events. If you have suffered injuries in this type of situation, contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC and request a consultation to see how we can help.