While Kristen and I were browsing through the Complexe Desjardins Office Tower Shops in downtown Montreal on Thursday (9-27-07), all of a sudden we heard a loud "BOOM" from across the mall that sounded like an explosion. Quickly after that, we saw people running from opposite where the sound has come from.
As we made our way through the crowd that had calmed down and gathered to spectate, I saw EMS already on the scene treating a young girl, who was surrounded by shattered glass.
A large pane of decorative glass had, for an unknown reason, shattered, and rained down on this girl, who was on a field trip with her school. The patient was treated and transported to St. Francis Hospital with moderate cuts and bruises, but is reportedly in stable condition and injuries are not life threatening. Several other teens in the group were hysterical and treated for shock.
I noticed a couple of things that were different. What a difference a Country makes.
1. Patient wasn't removed from the immediate area where the glass collapsed.
2. Civilians were allowed to use the exact same entrance on the opposite side of the mall after the glass collapsed, despite their being numerous other ways to exit.
3. Spectatators were allowed to gather in immediate "collapse" zone.
4. Response was completly minimal. An ALS and BLS ambulance, one Truck company, one Patrol officer, and one Patrol Supervisor. That's it for being on scene for the first 15 minutes.
It seems Canadians are very laid back. They handled this incident calmly and differently then had it happened in the US. If this had happened in the US, I'm sure that additional apparatus, such as a Collapse Unit would have been summoned.
Additionally, the patient would have been removed from the collapse zone, and the area would have been secured until the cause of the shattered glass was determined.
However, the EMS anf Fire response was extemly expeditous.
Also, the media coverage on this was minimal. It was lunchtime, and the mall at the base of an office tower was packed. It was barely picked up by the local media. I feel the local media here would have been crawling all over this. Anyways, I'm glad the girl was alright.