The holidays can bring out the best of us and the worst of us. And just the same, this season can bring about many miracles as well as many tragedies. Unfortunately, one shopping mall in Sydney, Australia saw the worst of both.
As the Guardian reports, a pre-Christmas balloon drop turned into a catastrophe after shoppers trampled each other to reach prizes. Westfield Parramatta’s “mega balloon drop” at midnight last night turned to utter chaos as crowd members pushed, shoved, and stomped on each other to reach the prizes inside each balloon.
“They were at that location to grab balloons as they were released and apparently the balloons had small gifts inside,” a New South Wales Police spokeswoman told reporters.
A Christmas balloon drop at Westfield Parramatta in Sydney has descended into chaos overnight with seven people taken to hospital after being crushed. More on this story: https://t.co/DrkvYujHqr https://t.co/3OSbSlYqkz
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) December 23, 2019
“As we go into the busy holiday period and many of our shopping centres become crowded with people, we urge the community to be patient and ensure the safety of themselves and those around them,” said Inspector Phil Templeman after the incident.
12 shoppers were treated by paramedics at the scene and five were taken to the hospital.
“Three of the transported patients had more serious issues including traumatic chest injuries, neck and back pain as well as nausea and dizziness,” Templeman explained.
Meanwhile, Scentre Group, the owners of the shopping center, share that they are working with police to ensure the best for their customers.
“Our team are continuing to speak with affected customers directly,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“We will continue to look into the circumstances surrounding last night’s incident.”