CHINA> Regional
Two Carrefour employees jailed over fatal stampede
Updated: 2008-11-05 20:01

CHONGQING  -- Two employees of the French retail giant, Carrefour, have been sent to jail for a fatal stampede which occurred during a sales promotion in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, court sources said on Wednesday.

Duan Chengwei, a loss prevention employee at the Shapingba outlet of Carrefour, who was in charge of security at the outlet's entrance, was sentenced to three years by the Shapingba District Court. His superior, Xiang Xuexin, received two years.

So far, Duan and Xiang have not appealed.

The stampede happened on November 10 last year as a crowd rushed to buy discounted cooking oil. Duan tried to limit the amount of people entering the store by using a table to partly block the entrance. The move backfired and caused the stampede, killing three and injuring 31 others, the court heard.

Xiang was aware of the use of the table but did nothing to defuse the danger.

Carrefour had a three-day promotion at the store to celebrate its 10th anniversary in the city. It offered an 11.5 yuan (1.69 US dollars) savings from the original price of 51.4 yuan for a five-liter bottle of cooking oil. When the store opened, a huge crowd rushed in and the stampede began.

The Ministry of Commerce issued an emergency directive banning time-limited sales promotions across the country following the incident.

The Carrefour outlet was fined 500,000 yuan by the local government. It also paid victims and their families more than 2 million yuan in compensation.