[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 29 November, 2003, 16:25 GMT
Woman crushed in rush at DVD sale
Christmas shoppers
The run-up to Christmas is an exceptionally busy time for shops
A US store chain has apologised to a woman knocked unconscious as shoppers rushed for a sale of DVD players.

Patricia VanLester was knocked to the ground in the frenzied dash for a $29 DVD player at a Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Orange City, Florida.

The 41-year-old had been first in the queue when the post-Thanksgiving sale opened at 6am local time on Friday.

"She got pushed down, and they walked over her like a herd of elephants," said her sister, Linda Ellzey.

Paramedics called to the store found VanLester unconscious on top of a DVD player, surrounded by shoppers seemingly oblivious to her, Mark O'Keefe, a spokesman for EVAC Ambulance, told Associated Press.

Doctors at the hospital which admitted Ms VanLester said she had suffered a seizure after being knocked down and would probably remain in care for the rest of the weekend.

'Stop stepping on her!'

Ms Ellzey said some shoppers had tried to help her sister, and one employee helped rescue the woman, but most people just continued their rush for deals.

"All they cared about was a stupid DVD player," she said.

"I told them, 'Stop stepping on my sister! She's on the ground!'"

Ms Ellzey said Wal-Mart officials called later to ask after her sister, and the store apologised and offered to put a DVD player on hold for her.

Wal-Mart Stores spokeswoman Karen Burk said she had never heard of a such a melee during a sale.

"We are very disappointed this happened," she said. "We want her to come back as a shopper."

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the beginning of the Christmas season in the US.


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific