Four teenage girls were crushed to death in a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday (March 18) when hundreds of fans panicked while trying to catch a glimpse of the British boy band a1. The f

Four teenage girls were crushed to death in a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday (March 18) when hundreds of fans panicked while trying to catch a glimpse of the British boy band a1. The four band members were ''devastated'' and canceled the rest of their tour in Asia, an a1 spokesman in London said. They were to return to Britain immediately.

Some 1,500 fans -- hundreds more than expected -- showed up at a record store at Taman Anggrek shopping mall to see the band, security guards said. Panic broke out when fans tried to escape the crush by rushing to the mall's exits. Four girls were killed and two others injured after falling during the stampede, according to a hospital official.

The band, best known for a string of top-10 singles in the U.K., went ahead with a live appearance on a local television station after the stampede. In the Philippines, a1 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.

The group, which recently won the best British newcomer honor at the Brit Awards ceremony, earned its first U.K. No. 1 last September with a cover of a-ha's "Take On Me.

Copyright 2001 Billboard.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print