3 people died during a stampede outside Carrefour when the store opened as people rushed in to purchase discounted rapeseed oil that is used for cooking. This is the result of the inflation of cooking oil in the last year. In Singapore, cooking oil isn’t the only thing that had risen in prices for the past few weeks. Essentials such as flour, sugar and bread has all risen in cost as was reported earlier – some of which have risen by as much as almost 50%. With everything going up in recent months, it’s no wonder that things will start becoming chaotic, but I am sure that my eminent government will be able to do something to prevent such things from happening here. Really.

THREE shoppers died and at least 31 others were injured in a stampede when the doors opened at the start of a sale at a Carrefour supermarket yesterday, state media reported.

Some shoppers slipped while rushing into the Carrefour outlet in Chongqing city when it opened at 8.30am. They fell and were crushed by other shoppers, Xinhua news agency and the People’s Daily reported.

The People’s Daily said shoppers began lining up outside the store in south-western China at 4am to buy discounted rapeseed oil used for cooking.

Seven of the injured were in serious condition. The other 24 were also taken to hospitals, said Xinhua.

Police in Chongqing said they had heard about the accident but declined to confirm the media accounts.

A doctor at Chongqing’s Shapingba District People’s Hospital said the emergency room was treating some of the injured but declined to give numbers.

The local government immediately ordered the store closed and began an investigation into the cause of the stampede.

The accident is the second known supermarket stampede in recent weeks.

Fifteen shoppers were injured in a Shanghai market last month.

Both incidents were apparently caused in part by sales of cooking oil, prices of which have soared by more than a third due to inflation in the past year.

As part of promotions to celebrate its 10th anniversary in Chongqing, Carrefour offered 20 per cent off 5-litre containers of rapeseed oil, the People’s Daily said.

The French retail giant moved into the Chinese market in 1995 and has since built up a network of 100 supermarkets.

The company says it plans to expand at a rate of 20 to 25 stores a year.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 11th November 2007

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