SUV drives through Chicago-area mall and crashes into store

Security personnel watch over the damaged entrance of Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois in this picture obtained from social media. (Reuters)
Updated 21 September 2019

SUV drives through Chicago-area mall and crashes into store

  • Despite the danger and chaos, police said no one was hurt
  • ‘We all panicked and were in shock, so we started escorting people toward our back door’

SCHAUMBURG, Illinois: A man drove an SUV into a suburban Chicago mall on Friday, sending frightened shoppers scurrying and plowing over a kiosk before he crashed into a clothing store and was arrested.
Video posted on social media shows the black Chevy Trailblazer driving through the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg around 2:30 p.m. while shoppers and store employees run for safety.
Schaumburg Police Chief Bill Wolf said investigators have not ruled out that the 22-year-old man in custody, who hasn’t been identified, may be suffering from a medical condition.
“There is no indication that this was a terrorist attack; there is no indication this was something pre-planned and no indication that the mall itself was a target or thought to be a target ahead of time,” Wolf said.
Despite the danger and chaos, police said no one was hurt, the village posted on its Facebook page.
Jonathan Galingan, who manages a cosmetics store in the mall, told the Chicago Tribune that people were yelling “active shooter.” However, police quickly said on the municipality’s Facebook page that there was “no evidence of an active shooter situation.”
Witness Lateef Farooqui told CBS 2 that he was on the second floor when he spotted the driver slowly navigating the corridor below “like you would a shopping cart.” He said the SUV drove over a kiosk and struck a Forever 21 before the driver jumped out and was captured by police.
Galingan said he didn’t see the vehicle, but he saw the panic after people shouted “active shooter.”
“We all panicked and were in shock, so we started escorting people toward our back door,” he told the Tribune.
Bob Thomas, an executive at the newspaper, said he was headed to the Apple store when he heard the fire alarm go off and an announcement on the mall’s loudspeakers that people should leave because there had been an incident.
“I got to the center of the mall, I saw this car. It’s a black SUV crashed against a pillar in front of the Clark’s shoe store,” Thomas said, adding that one of the front tires was flat.
He said that as he took a picture, “All of a sudden the tact team came in with assault rifles and yelling, ‘Get out, get out, get out of the mall.”
The FBI issued a statement saying it was assisting local law enforcement and that there wasn’t any further threat to public safety.


Five dead from strong quake in southern Philippines

Updated 29 min 16 sec ago

Five dead from strong quake in southern Philippines

  • More than 200 aftershocks from the 6.3 magnitude tremor have also been recorded
  • Another 5.3 magnitude quake rocked Davao Oriental around 4:53 a.m. on Thursday  

MANILA: Five people were reported killed and dozens injured after a strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck southern Philippines Wednesday evening, sending people scurrying out of their residences, buildings and shopping malls.

Information released by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) showed the shallow quake of tectonic origin occurred 7:37 p.m. 22 km southeast of Tulunan town in North Cotabato.

It was felt at intensity 7, described as destructive under the Phivolcs Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS), in Kidapawan City, and in Tulunan and M’Lang towns, North Cotabato.

Intensity 6 was reported in Digos City, Davao Del Sur; Sto. Niño, South Cotabato; and Tacurong City.

President Duterte’s home city of Davao experienced intensity 5, as well as, in Alabel and Malungon, Sarangani; Lake Sebu, Palomok, Tampakan and Tupi in South Cotabato; Koronadal City; Roxas and Pikit in North Cotabato; General Santos (GenSan) City; and Kalamansig, Lebak and Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

Intensity 4 was felt in Sarangani, Agusan Del Sur, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Cotabato City, and Maguindanao; intensity 3 in Iligan City and Dipolog City; intensity 2 in Butuan City and Zamboanga City; and intensity 1 in Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur.

Reports showed the fatalities, three of them children, were from Datu Paglas in Maguindanao, M’lang in Cotabato, and Magsaysay town in Davao del Sur.

The victim from Datu Paglas was a young girl who died due to injuries sustained when the wall of their house collapsed and hit her. In M’lang town, Cotabato, a man succumbed to heart attack, while a two-year-old boy, who was then sleeping, was killed after a block of cement from a fallen wall hit him.

At a far-flung village also in Magsaysay town, a mother and her nine-month old son were killed after an earthquake-induced landslide buried their house.

The mother was reported to be still cuddling her infant when their bodies were retrieved. Rescuers managed to save the father and the couple’s two other children.

While authorities continue to assess structural damage caused by the earthquake, reports placed the number of injured at around 60, many of them hit by falling objects and debris.

Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista said over the radio it felt like a steamroller was passing by when the quake struck. He described the shake as very strong.

Evangelista said he has ordered the forced evacuation of residents at a village situated at the foot of Mount Apo following reports of landslides and rockslides.

Patients in hospitals in some of the affected areas were also evacuated, while some residents, still shocked and traumatized by the strong quake, have chosen to temporarily stay by the roadside outside their homes.

Schools have been shut in the damaged areas, which are being seen unsafe for use. Many houses and government buildings were also severely damaged by the strong quake.

In General Santos City, firefighters continue to battle the fire that hit the Gaisano Mall after the earthquake struck. 70 to 80 percent of the mall have already been gutted by the fire, according to the Bureau of Fire Protections.

Some 2,000 employees of the Gaisano mall now fear losing their jobs due to the blaze, according to reports.

Meanwhile, another earthquake with 5.3 magnitude rocked Davao Oriental around 4:53 a.m. Thursday. No damages or casualties have been reported so far, but aftershocks are expected.

More than 200 aftershocks from the 6.3 magnitude tremor have also been recorded.

In the wake of the strong earthquake, the country’s chief state seismologist Renato Solidum said this should serve as a “wake up call” to local government units that do not take earthquake drills seriously.

These drills, he said, are intended to orient local government what to do when a big earthquake occurs.

Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, as it is located along a typhoon belt and the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”