FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Thousands of fans of the British boy band One Direction showed up at Stonebriar Centre Mall to buy the group’s CD and receive a wrist band to meet them in person and get their autograph.
One Direction is a British group that popped to the top of the charts in 2011 with a hit
single, “What make you beautiful.”
The mall’s Barnes and Noble store hosted the event. The mall doors opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday, but many fans arrived hours before the doors opened. Some slept in their cars in the parking lot overnight.
The original plan was to hand out 1000 tickets. But when the crowd kept growing, another 1000 tickets were added.
Fans started rushing to the doors half an hour before they opened. Once opened, there was pandemonium.
Fans rushed to get in line. Some were hurt. The Frisco Fire Department treated six people for what they say were minor conditions. One person was transported to the hospital.
The band wasn’t even in town for the event. The meet and greet will be held as part of an acoustic performance on March 24 at 2:00 p.m. A manager with Barnes and Noble said the band will appear inside the mall near Macy’s, where there’s supposed to be more room for everyone.
Stonebriar Mall says they had planned for the crowds. But Frisco police say they were never notified in advance. They say they weren’t called to the scene until citizens called at 6:30 a.m. saying the the crowd was out of control.
Gillian Devout, from Allen, said it was scary. “There was, like, people getting trampled or people on the floor crying, people hurt, people in ambulances” she said.
Devout, who’s 15, waited in line for five hours.
“There’s, like, the gate to get in downstairs. And we were pressed up against it. And I was scared for my life, that when they opened it, we were going to get trampled. But then, they pushed everyone outside,” she said.
Her 16-year-old friend, Taylor Burkhalter, stood with her.
“Me and my friend were the first people at the gate. My face got pushed into the wall, slammed into the wall. Falling down on the floor. It was bad,” she said.
Angela Bibb, one of the adults who witnessed the chaos said, “It was totally out of Control. And, people started getting trampled.”
“Once they rushed the doors. The only people here at that time were mall security. And it was just too much for them to handle. They couldn’t handle it,” she said.
Stonebriar’s Marketing Director, Stacy Schuch, said they had planned for crowds. But the Frisco Police Department says they were never notified about the event in advance.
They say their first indication there may be a problem came at 6:30 a.m. when citizens called to tell them the crowd was out of control.
Police sent a dozen officers. The Frisco Fire Department sent an ambulance and a fire truck. They treated six people. One was transported to the hospital. All were treated for minor conditions.
Fans appeared to leave happy though.
Teriann Favela, of Frisco, was shaking and crying as she held the wrist band that will allow her to see the group in person. “They’re just amazing boys. And, knowing that I’m going to meet them. I just really happy,” she said crying.
Stonebriar estimated the crowd at 2500 to 3000. The last of the fans picked up their tickets around noon.
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