Dozens Injured at Autograph Session for German Idols

Mass panic erupts at press event for top-rated talent show.

More than 60 people, mostly young women, were injured over the weekend at a press event for Germany’s version of American Idol.

Panic broke out an autograph session with the remaining candidates for Germany’s Idol called Deutschland sucht den Superstar or DSDS. More than two dozen people were taken to hospital with broken bones and other injuries. DSDS broadcaster RTL cancelled the event.

RTL said it had expected between 4,000-5,000 DSDS fans to show up on Sunday at the event, held in a shopping mall in the western German city of Oberhausen. Instead more than 15,000 came. Police and mall security were unable to deal with the crowd. Panic broke out and many were crushed against the doors to the mall.

Although RTL does not accept any responsibility for the accident, the channel said it might ban similar promotional events in the future.

This is second time a DSDS event has turned bad. Last year, panic at an autograph session in nearby Bochum resulted in several injuries.