Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Saturday, 26 December 2009

Panel falls on Selfridges shoppers in Manchester

Selfridges in Manchester city centre
There were hundreds of people in the department when the panel fell

A large piece of plastic ceiling panel fell on shoppers seeking Boxing Day bargains at the Selfridges store in Manchester, injuring four people.

The 3ft (1m) square piece from the ceiling light fixture fell in the store in Manchester Exchange Square at about 0815 GMT, a shop spokesman said.

The incident happened in the ground floor accessories area.

The customers sustained minor injuries. Selfridges said a faulty access hatch caused the panel to fall.

It said the hatch had now been fixed and the area where the incident took place has been reopened to shoppers.

'Huge queue'

A Selfridges spokesman said the shoppers' injuries included bruising and a bloodied nose.

It is estimated that a couple of hundred shoppers were in the store at the time and the area near the scene of the incident was immediately cordoned off.

Adam Caulfield, from Oldham, who was in the store at the time of the accident, described the scene as "bedlam".

He said: "There were at least 400 or 500 people in that section and two staff trying to get to these girls and sort them out.

"There had been a huge queue to get into Selfridges, there was a stampede in one section, you had to see it to believe it."



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