The Worst Human Stampedes

1943 Bethnal Green Tube Station Disaster

1943 Bethnal Green Tube Statio... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst Human Stampedes

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A major RAF bombing raid on Berlin on March 1, 1943 led to rumors of German reprisals. So when an air raid siren went off a few weeks later in London’s Bethnal Green neighborhood, residents knew what to do. They made their way in an orderly fashion to the Bethnal Green tube station, having sheltered underground there during previous German raids.

But this time, a woman carrying a baby tripped, and others near her fell. The stairs underground had no handrails on the sides of the staircase, no central dividing rail, and only one small light to illuminate a path. So more people got tangled up in the mass on the ground, and crushed those below them. There were also unconfirmed reports of panic caused by anti-aircraft guns going off, but this has never been proven. When it was all over, 173 were dead. And there had been no air raid – the siren going off was a drill.

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