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Learning from Disaster: New Year’s Stampede: Lan Kwai Fong 1993


Learning from Disaster: New Year’s Stampede: Lan Kwai Fong 1993

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Course Information


As one of the efforts in promoting learning of best practices in disaster response, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute partnered with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University (Harvard FXB Centre) and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (Harvard HHI) to develop case studies based on real situations of past disaster and situations with emerging disaster risks.  

Our case studies are presented in various forms: study papers, interactive modules and videos

Apart from the case study papers and knowledge assessment put in the website, teaching materials for tertiary level or professional learning such as in medical or public health schools and training courses for disaster practitioners, NGOs, policy makers, etc, are available upon request. Please contact [email protected] for details.

About this case

This case on stampedes is aimed at familiarizing students and practitioners of public health, disaster management, and urban planning with the risk of stampedes in mass gatherings. Stampedes and weather related events are the two greatest causes of mortality at mass gatherings. This case focuses on stampedes, but allows learners to be introduced their classes to the concepts of mass gatherings and mass gatherings medicine.


This Case Study is suitable to be used for learning about Stampede, the Emergency Response in Mass Gathering/ Casualty Events, and, the importance of Disaster Preparedness at all stages of the disaster cycle - mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. You will be provided a Video Case and a Case Document in your learning.   

Video Case

In this exercise, you will play the role of a public health expert with a focus on hazard mitigation in an extremely complex system. Identifying the key local and national actors that can most effectively disseminate information and best practices leading up to the mass gathering will be an essential aspect of your role. You should also be very specific about which essential components of an impending mass gathering you think you can actually improve through these outreach activities.

Case Document - New Year’s Stampede: Lan Kwai Fong 1993

On January 1st 1993, at approximately 12:05 a.m., a crowd of New Year’s Eve revellers emptied out of bars in Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong’s Central District. As some 20,000 people began to push in the small, sloped streets and alleys, it took only moments for some to fall on roads slick with the foam of sprayed beer and champagne. In the ensuing moments, a total of 63 people, mostly under the age of 20, were injured with 21 fatalities due to crushing and asphyxiation. The Lan Kwai Fong stampede would go down in history as a shocking tragedy for Hong Kong. In its wake, public health officials tried to make sense of the risk presented by the gathering, and the factors that contributed to the behavior of the crowd.


By studying the Case Study, you will experience the work of a government official of the Security Bureau of Hong Kong. To begin, you will be informed with the background and aftermath of the Stampede Disaster of Lan Kwai Fong in 1993. Then, the Bokhary Report was be introduced which has highlighted the causal factors of the Stampede. The Case Study will be concluded with current understanding of the cause and prevention of Stampede. You will be encouraged to reflect on the case and involve in further discussion. 



Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this case study are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute.

Mass Gathering, Mass Casualty, Stampede, Disaster Preparedness, Emergency Response
HKJCDPRI/Harvard FXB/Harvard HHI

Dr. Satchit Balsari

Leah Van Vaerenewyck

Vera Sistenich

Prof. Jennifer Leaning

Benjamin Davies

Katherine Farineau