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Away From Home

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

iBooks aren't all that special anyway

A couple weeks ago, one of my housemates heard about a big laptop sale down in Richmond. A school district was getting rid of 1000 4-year-old Apple iBooks, and was selling them for $50 each.

Of course, we promptly made plans to go.

However, we soon found out that there was so much demand that they were moving the sale from the school to the fairgrounds. Rather than deal with crowds, we decided that it probably wasn't worth it to drive clear down there and possibly not even get one.

I think we made the right decision.

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- A rush to purchase $50 used laptops turned into a violent stampede Tuesday, with people getting thrown to the pavement, beaten with a folding chair and nearly driven over. One woman went so far to wet herself rather than surrender her place in line.

"This is total, total chaos," said Latoya Jones, 19, who lost one of her flip-flops in the ordeal and later limped around on the sizzling blacktop with one foot bare.

More than 1,000 people turned out at the Richmond International Raceway in hopes of getting their hands on one of the 4-year-old Apple iBooks, which retail for between $999 and $1,299. The Henrico County school system was selling 1,000 of the computers to county residents.

Officials opened the gates at 7 a.m., but some already had been waiting for hours in line. When the gates opened, it became a terrifying mob scene.

People threw themselves forward, screaming and pushing each other. A little girl's stroller was crushed in the stampede. Witnesses said an elderly man was thrown to the pavement, and someone in a car tried to drive his way through the crowd.

More (with picture!) here.


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