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20 Feb, 2015

Beijing’s crowd control system to be rolled out nationwide

Beijing, (Xinhua), 2015-02-02 – Beijing is using a crowd analytics system to prevent stampedes at major commercial areas. It is hoped that the system will be rolled out nationwide. Beijing has used the system, which was developed by the Beijing Municipal Institute of Labor Protection (BMILP), for five years.

Beijing's crowd control system to be rolled out nationwide

The Great Wall was swarmed with tourists on Feb 5, 2014. [Photo by Song Wei/chinadaily.com.cn]

The system provides real-time data on crowd density, distribution and flow and can identify crowd patterns that indicate potential danger.So far, it has been installed at four popular tourist areas in Beijing — Xi’dan, Shichahai, Dashilan and Tian’an Men.

If a risk is detected, the system can issue a 10 minute alert to help authorities make an emergency response decision.

The system can also predict crowd numbers to inform advanced planning measures.

“The system is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Yao Xiaohui, director of the BMILP emergency management lab.

Beijing is planning to install more of the systems in railway stations and some religious sites.

The city is also pushing one year trials of the system in 30 selected regions across the country, according to Yao.

Crowded conditions and slack safety management during festivities can result in safety issues.

A New Year’s Eve 2014 stampede in Shanghai left 36 people dead. In 2004, during the Lantern Festival, 37 people died in a stampede on a bridge in suburban Beijing.