Why Did So Many More Women Than Men Die in the Itaewon Halloween Disaster?

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The deadly crush at Seoul’s largest Halloween celebration claimed nearly twice as many women as victims than it did men, with the death toll climbing to 153 by Sunday evening.

The tiny alleyways of the Itaewon nightlife district drew as many as 100,000 people on Saturday night, local news media reported. The throngs of people and tiny places were the perfect combination for a crowd crush — where the most common cause of injury and death is compressive asphyxia, or when people’s airways become constricted from pushing against one another.

Evidence of women being more prone than men to compressive asphyxia is inconclusive, said G. Keith Still, a professor of crowd science at the University of Suffolk in southern England. However, there were several factors that could have led to higher fatalities in women.

“Women, while they have smaller frames, have more body mass in their upper chest. They generally have a bigger chest than men” he said. “If there is pressure exerted there, there is more mass pushing inward, being more detrimental for women.”

Professor Still also noted that when people are packed together, a game of strength comes into play. “Men typically have more upper-body strength than women, and have a higher chance of literally clawing their way out of the situation,” he said.

He emphasized that one of the biggest factor in deaths was crowd density and the male-to-female ratio of the crowd. The police and fire officials in Seoul declined to comment on the gender disparity of the victims, saying only that 97 women and 56 men had died. Authorities have yet to identify what led to the deadly crush.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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