A young girl has been trampled and injured by thoughtless panic buyers in a rush to get their hands on toilet paper.
The stampede – which left the 13-year-old needing an x-ray – broke out at a Coles supermarket in Perth, Australia yesterday.
The girl’s mum, Emma Sache, told the West Australian she was separated from her daughter Hayley when the doors to the shop opened.
A mad rush then ensued as shoppers ran towards a supply of loo roll near the entrance.
Emma – who is herself in a wheelchair following a recent operation – later found her distraught daughter crying on the ground.
“She was pushed to the ground and then stood on by adults who had no care in the world for a child on the floor. People were walking over her while she was crying on the ground just to get what they wanted,” Emma said.
“I am shocked at how people were acting this morning even before the doors opened. People pushing, people telling people to get back in line.”
The mum says she had taken Hayley and her brother Tyler, 9, to the supermarket to purchase toilet paper and school snacks.
The injured teen – who suffered a swollen knee – is said to have been left shaken by the incident.
However, her mum praised the support they received from the shop’s manager, who took them to the back and gave Hayley ice for her knee.
A spokesman for Coles has now said the supermarket is looking into extra security measures.
“Coles takes the wellbeing of our customers and team members seriously and we are constantly reviewing security measures to manage the unprecedented levels of demand we are seeing in our stores,” he said.
“We ask that customers to continue to show compassion towards fellow customers and team members at this challenging time.”
In the UK, supermarket giants have moved to limit the number of crucial items people can buy to combat panic-buying amid the coronavirus crisis.
Tesco said shoppers will be limited to buying just three products per line from Thursday.
The move follows similar measures by Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Asda and Morrisons, to ease stockpiling pressure.
Sainsbury’s revealed it will only allow customers to buy a maximum of three of any single item, while Morrisons said it is limiting purchases across 1,250 lines.
Asda also announced it is restricting shoppers to three items on all food and closing its cafés and pizza counters, while temporarily reducing the opening hours of all its 24-hour stores for re-stocking.
Aldi has already introduced limits of four items per shopper across all products.
Yesterday, an elderly gentleman was pictured in a Sainsbury’s aisle with bare shelves after panic-buyers defied instructions to not to stockpile essential items.
The poignant image shows the man staring down at a shopping list in front of empty shelves in his local store in Epsom, Surrey.