JUN 14, 15 .. DISASTER .. DEATH .. WAITING TO HAPPEN ..

I consider this to have been a near-death experience. It happened to me yesterday .. Saturday June the 13th, 2015 .. here in Hong Kong. I did the below photo-shoot this morning Sunday June the 14th.

I never read about people in the United States being trampled-to-death or being crushed-to-death by crowds going berserk.

WIKIPEDIA .. 

Beserk/Berserk .. Injuriously .. Maniacally .. Furiously Violent .. Out Of Control ..

I most certainly read of this deathly dangerous phenomenon happening in foreign countries. In sports soccer crowds go berserk. In general where you have a very large crowd of people and suddenly something sets-the-crowd-off into a frenzy it is not all that unusual to read of people being trampled or crushed to death by a berserk crowd.

It nearly happened to me yesterday here in Hong Kong. I will set-the-scene for you in the below photos.

All of the ingredients are present. A large crowd of people forced into a dangerous situation absolutely out-of-their-control with no-place-to-escape to. I was at the head-of-the-pack.

Hong Kong Central MTR Station Exit A ..

We have an escalator. We have crowding.

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Talk about a crowd! Look at the escalator! Look at the STAIRWAY beside the escalator to the right!

Now focus below on the STAIRWAY! This gives you an idea of CROWDING!

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The escalator is relentlessly moving the people!

“It’s what I do Dad.”

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Here the people come .. relentlessly .. off the escalator at its topmost point.

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Looking back down at the scene. Exit A .. Hong Kong Central MTR Station.

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A tunnel of humanity .. relentlessly moving upward ..

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We never know do we? I walk onto THIS SPECIFIC escalator .. something I have done so many times I can’t count them accurately .. and up we all go. We get to the top.

All hell suddenly breaks loose. The man in front of me .. unbeknownst to me .. had a luggage dolly FULL OF LUGGAGE that suddenly tipped over when he got to the top and I was instantly BLOCKED BY HIS KNEE DEEP LUGGAGE!

There was NO THINKING TIME AVAILABLE TO ME!

Instantly (already feeling the person behind me suddenly pushing against me because I was blocked and was no longer moving forward) I leapt over the luggage mess and ..

I WENT BERSERK! SCREAMING AT THE MAN AND FRANTICALLY (YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF FRANTIC HERE!) TEARING THE PILE OF LUGGAGE OUT OF THE WAY!

And that-was-that! In seconds it happened!  In seconds it was all over!

Below is what the bridge we were heading for looks like. It too is crowded.

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So to end this missive on a positive and a calm and serene note ..  in the above photo walk forward twenty or so feet and then turn to your left and look down .. there you see the below mini-park in the median area between the traffic lanes of one of Hong Kong’s busiest streets .. Connaught Road Central.

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I was a micro-second from being helplessly trapped by the crowd behind me pushing me into the pile of luggage and suddenly being absolutely unable to move a muscle. Let me tell you all .. that escalator was moving a mass of humanity with no break-in-its-action ..

Looking back from across Connaught Road Central .. what a mass of people!

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Headlines .. “Man/People crushed to death in escalator accident.” .. It sure could have been that bad.

I sit here .. a full day later .. and I remain ‘quite shaken’ by this incident.

WHEW! CLOSE CALL CAPTAIN .. CLOSE CALL!

WE KNOW SO LITTLE! WHAT ACTUALLY DO WE REALLY KNOW?

DO YOU SUPPOSE ONE TIME AFTER THIS LIFE I WILL HEAR THE FOLLOWING ..  

“DO YOU REMEMBER THAT SATURDAY AT 12 NOONTIME IN HONG KONG ON THE ESCALATOR? I WAS WITH YOU MY LITTLE CAPTAIN!”

I WON’T GO ANY FURTHER WITH THIS THINKING! .. KNOWING THAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE INDEED DIED IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS .. WHO WAS WITH THEM?

EXCEPT I WILL SAY .. “THANK YOU!”

Humbly .. Cap ..

IF THE ONLY PRAYER YOU EVER SAY IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE IS THANK YOU .. IT WILL BE ENOUGH .. 

MEISTER ECKHART ..

4 thoughts on “JUN 14, 15 .. DISASTER .. DEATH .. WAITING TO HAPPEN ..

  1. Patti

    I can picture the specific escalator, at the top of it, overlooking the beautiful park down below. It was not a beautiful scene at all when the luggage popped open … had you fallen into the luggage with people pushing behind you, you could have been trampled. I shudder. I feel blessed that you have the ability to think so quickly on your feet. That CROWD is a typical crowd every Sunday, all the maids in Hong Kong have the day off and congregate in that specific area, usually wall to wall in their little groups, their cardboard structures, eating, visiting, sleeping, doing nails and toenails. If a few of them had been right behind that luggage spill, several people could well have been seriously injured. And, there IS an elevator a few feet from the escalator…with luggage, he should have used the elevator…no brainer. I am glad you survived, obviously! Love, Patti

  2. cap chastain

    There was absolutely NO thinking in the process .. It was instantaneous reaction my Dear One. I too shudder to think if anyone else had been at the head of the line as I was .. Front and Center to a disaster unfolding. I wonder IF the escalators have some sort of safety device and what would trigger such a device to pop into action. I am here to tell you .. it was a WHEW! Had YOU been along in front of me THAT would have been a real challenge. Much Love .. Cap ..

  3. Shaddy Peters

    Your agility and quick thinking made all the difference. I can’t imagine too many senior citizens could have reacted that quickly.

    I’m sooooo glad you pulled out of that situation without any harm done. Now if you can get over the trauma of it all, you’ll be good as new.

    SOOOO GLAD,
    Shaddy

  4. Jeanne Waite Follett

    The reverse of this happened when I arrived in Buenos Aries. A woman fell at the bottom of the escalator, which continued delivering more people from the wide body jet that had just deplaned. She was on the transition step at the bottom and the escalator just kept knocking her down despite many trying to help her. Kathy and I could see what was happening and we stopped any more people from getting on the escalator. Finally someone hit a nearby emergency stop switch and everyone righted themselves. Dangerous things, those escalators. Good thinking, Cap.

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