Melee and injuries as shopping mall opens

12th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

12 September 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Plate-glass broke and bargain-hunters were crushed as 5,000 shoppers stormed past helpless police into a new Berlin shopping mall early Wednesday.

12 September 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Plate-glass broke and bargain-hunters were crushed as 5,000 shoppers stormed past helpless police into a new Berlin shopping mall early Wednesday.

Anti-greed demonstrators chanted condemnation of the crowd that had gathered outside the Alexa mall to await the midnight opening of the first shop, an electrical appliance retailer advertising thousands of specials.

The shoppers ignored the moral criticism and surged inside. The front door shattered in the rush and people were knocked aside. Limping shoppers and injured staff were taken away by ambulance.

Police, who said their 100 officers at the scene could not maintain safety, persuaded the shop to shut again after an hour of trading.

The dark-pink building with 180 shops faces Alexanderplatz, a wide Berlin square which used to be the home of the better shops in communist East Germany's ramshackle economy.

The 290-million-euro (400-million-dollar) Alexa shopping centre is the 56th mall to open in Berlin, which promotes itself today as the "poor but sexy" city. Despite high local unemployment, more covered malls are planned.

The rest of the mall opened for business at 7 am, but Media Markt, a chain of 469 electrical-goods stores in 14 countries, had chosen a midnight opening for maximum public impact.

DPA

Subject: German news

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