31 October, 2016. 18:34
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
POLICE AND AMBULANCE CREWS WERE called to a prominent North Queensland ‘nite spot’ at approximately 7pm last night local time as a canine drug detection team entered the premises.
Panic gripped the revellers and the crowd began rushing for the nearest exit, which led to eight patrons being crushed in the ensuing stampede for the door.
Six of the injured customers were treated at the scene for minor crush injuries and fractures, which two were rushed to Townsville Base Hospital, where their condition is listed as being “critical, but stable”.
Superintendent Gary Rowlands from Townsville Police says the scenes were unlike any pandemonium he’d ever witnessed – including the Cowboys premiership win just a short year ago.
“When the canine unit entered the hotel, it triggered a chain reaction that whipped the people into a panic,” explained Rowlands.
“As close to 90% of this town has a cannabis caution or a Section 10, we understand that the fear of being caught a second time with a trivial amount of Cooktown kush as being the chief cause of these crush injuries,”
Superintendent Rowlands then went on to describe the scenes inside the hotel after the crowd had evacuated, stating that the floor was awash with ‘saddie bags’ and ‘sticks of sticky ganja’, all but confirming the authorities suspicions that the mad rush for the door was because of the dogs.
“We’re planning to investigate this further. We will find who owned the drugs and we’ll go from there.” he said.