Rumor of Brooklyn Bridge Collapse Sparked Fatal Stampede During Opening Week

Posted By Staff

Date: August 6th, 2014

bridge nyNew York – Just six days after opening to the public, a rumor quickly spread that the new bridge was about to collapse. The resulting panic caused such a massive stampede that 12 were killed in the crush.

The tragic incident started the afternoon of May 30, 1883 when a woman tripped and fell descending the wooden stairs on the Manhattan side of the bridge. Apparently, this caused another woman to scream at the top of her lungs, which caused those nearby to rush towards the scene.

The commotion sparked a chain reaction of confusion, as more and more people panicked and mobbed the narrow staircase, creating a massive pileup. Thousands were on the promenade, quickly turning the situation deadly.

Believing a collapse was imminent, terrified pedestrians scrambled for the exit, trampling one another. Panicked men, women and children piled on top of each another and became trapped against the iron fences that line the narrow promenade. In true old-time New York fashion, pickpockets came to rob the helpless victims.  More

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