Killer crush mars Jakarta pop outing
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- British boyband a1 say they are saddened and distraught by the deaths of four girls during a stampede at a shopping mall in Indonesia.
"Their thoughts and prayers go out to the bereaved families," said a spokesman.
On Sunday, about 1,500 fans -- hundreds more than expected -- showed up at a record store at Taman Anggrek shopping mall in Jakarta to see the band and get autographs.
When the band started to sing, many fans pushed to get to the front, trying to get a view, a witness said.
Panic broke out when fans tried to escape the crush by rushing to the mall's exit. Four girls, aged between 13 and 20, were killed and several others fainted during the stampede.
Two of the girls were believed to be from one family.
Some reports said the band had left before the crush and did not learn of the deaths until after performing live on Indonesian television Sunday evening.
In a statement, event organizer Sony Music Entertainment Indonesia said: "We have had over 10 artist autograph signings by both foreign and Indonesian artists at this shop without any problems.
"Every precaution was taken to ensure the safety of the crowd."
The four-member band -- Ben Adams, Christian Ingebrigtsen, Paul Marazzi and Mark Read -- was on a five-day visit to promote their latest album "The A-List."
Sources told local media that there were not enough security guards for the meet-the-fans event.
An a1 spokesman in London said the band members were "devastated" and canceled the rest of their tour. According to the original schedule, they were to leave Jakarta on Wednesday.
In the Philippines, the band was forced to cancel an appearance at a music store after some 20,000 fans turned up when organizers were expecting only about 1,000, according to the band's Web site.
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