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Black Friday shoppers stampede in Belfast

Nov. 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A shopper in England was tackled by security guards and a stampede broke out in Northern Ireland as the United Kingdom had its first full-fledged Black Friday.

Injuries were reported in several Asda Stores Ltd. superstores across Britain. One disabled woman was hospitalized with a broken arm after being kicked to the ground, a witness said.

The unidentified 35-year-old shopper tackled by security guards in an Asda store in Bristol, England, became upset after he was told he could buy only two 60-inch TVs on sale, a witness told the Daily Mail.

"Security then escorted him and he was arguing and filming them on his mobile phone when it was knocked out of his hand," the witness said. After being tackled to the ground, he was "carted off handcuffed in a police car," the witness said, adding "it was the security guards who got physical."

The man was arrested for disorderly conduct, police said.

The Northern Ireland stampede started at an Asda store in Belfast, when hundreds of customers who had lined up before dawn to get into the store were told the limited number of discounted TVs and tablet computers were sold out.

"It was just a free-for-all. It was frightening," a Belfast shopper told the Daily Mirror. People got trampled to the ground, she said.

A friend of hers was kicked in the stomach by a man who tried to grab a TV out of her hands, the shopper said.

Another shopper, who was disabled, "was actually kicked to the ground and trampled on and now has a broken arm and is waiting to hear if she is going to need surgery," she said.

Asda, which had Black Friday promotions for the first time, is a subsidiary of U.S. retailer Walmart Stores Inc.

Asda and Walmart had no immediate comment. Five years ago, a crowd at a Walmart store in Valley Stream, N.Y., broke a door down trying to get in and trampled a 34-year old employee to death.

Scuffles were reported at London retail stores Friday as shoppers scrambled to grab televisions, tablet computers and other Christmas presents at discounts of up to 70 percent, the London Evening Standard said.

"I was ashamed to be English to be honest. People had more than one item. They had two or three TVs or tablets in their trolleys," shopper Margaret Green, 55, told the Mail, adding shoppers were "screaming and shouting."

"I found it disgusting. It was horrific," she said.

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