Police cancel Justin Bieber show
Published 26/04/2010 | 17:47
Police were forced to cancel a Justin Bieber concert in Australia after thousands of frenzied teenage fans were caught in a dangerous crush.
The Canadian heartthrob was due to perform an open-air concert at Sydney Harbour and thousands of teenagers spent the night camped out awaiting the show.
The excited fans surged toward the venue on Monday morning, sending at least eight girls to the hospital and injuring several more.
Police cancelled the performance after the swarm, which may have begun when rumours spread that the 16-year-old singer had arrived early.
In the crush, at least 10 girls fainted, and paramedics had to pull them out of the crowd, according to Australia's Network Seven. Of the eight sent to the hospital, one fractured her knee cap, though most had hyperventilated.
"We were expecting this to be the biggest concert we ever had, but we just couldn't have foreseen this scale," said Grant Denyer, the weather presenter for Network Seven's Sunrise programme, which was planning to broadcast the gig.
Police said the station was well prepared, but that the frenzy of 5,000 fans got out of control. "They wouldn't listen to our directions, so hence they left us with no option," Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens said, adding it was a concern that so many youngsters were out at night without their parents.
Monica Caruana, 14, said the commotion started when the venue opened early. "The doors were meant to open at five, but they opened at three for some reason and everyone bolted," she said, adding that her friend was "knocked out" in the chaos.
After the cancellation, many of the girls went to Network Seven's studios, where they caught a glimpse of Justin through a window before he performed there.