Nine young people die in a crowd stampede in New York City on December 28, 1991. The event was a charity basketball gamed headlined by hip-hop stars Heavy D. and Puff Daddy.
Shortly after 6:00 p.m., according to eyewitness accounts, the crowd outside the City University of New York broke at least one of the glass doors separating them from the building lobby. Despite the presence of at least 66 New York City Police officers, 38 City College campus-security officers and 20 private security guards hired by the event’s promoters, the crowd was able to surge through those doors and rush into the building shortly after 7:00 p.m., when the event finally got underway.
Once inside the lobby, the crowd rushed down a short set of stairs leading to the gymnasium. At the bottom of those stairs, however, were four swinging doors—three of them closed—that opened not into the gymnasium, but into the stairwell. While the 3,000-strong crowd surged forward obliviously, those people who reached the stairwell first were caught in a crush that would leave eight dead on the scene and 29 others injured, one of whom would later die of her injuries at St. Luke’s Hospital.