An outdoor concert by the 16-year-old pop star Justin Bieber was cancelled by police yesterday after several teenagers were crushed by a large crowd.
Thousands of fans spent the night camping out at Sydney Harbour awaiting the morning concert, but the surge toward the venue injured at least eight girls after more fans than expected turned up.
It is thought that the crush started when rumours spread that the Canadian heart-throb had arrived early. At least 10 girls fainted, and paramedics had to pull them out of the crowd. Of the eight sent to hospital, one fractured her knee cap.
"We were expecting this to be the biggest concert we ever had, but we just couldn't have foreseen this scale," said Grant Denyer, a presenter for Seven Network, which was planning to broadcast the concert.
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 they left us with no option," Deputy Commissioner David Owens said, explaining the cancellation.
Monica Caruana, 14, said the commotion started when the venue opened early. "The doors were meant to open at 5am, but they opened at 3am and everyone bolted," she said, adding that one of her friends was "knocked out" in the chaos.Reuse content