Dateline Monday 14th September 2015
Today at the Goolwa Woolworths Shopping Centre at exactly 3.45pm shoppers found themselves locked down inside the store. Six silver, giant roller doors ominously slid down, amid wailing emergency sirens. Panicked shoppers looked helplessly around in a bid to discover what was happening. Was it a terrorist attack? Was it a disaster? Where was the fire? Woolworths staff did not know what was happening, they and scores of shoppers were locked in the store. Goolwafind reporter Sudha Hamilton found himself one of many locked down and unable to exit the supermarket.
Emergency sirens continued to sound and flashing lights lit up alarms around the cavernous space. Shoppers stood around, some making nervous jokes about whether this was a new type of guerrilla marketing tactic by the supermarket giant. Sudha Hamilton reported that one Woolworth’s employee told him that, “she had saved one customer from being guillotined by the rapidly shutting metal roller door, by pulling her out of harm’s way.” The fact soon emerged that this was a computerised systematic emergency response and that staff were helpless to do anything about it. The waiting went on and older shoppers has anxious grimaces upon their faces. This was so soon after the siege at the Priceline Pharmacy.
Eventually shoppers were able to make their way out of the store by the way of two emergency exits. Staff were preparing to follow emergency guidelines for their own exit from the building. Outside the supermarket, emergency roller doors had also shut the Australia Post shop and workers from the local pharmacy were milling about unsure about what to do. Two large CFC trucks had arrived outside and a crew from the CFC were checking the control room of the main shopping centre.
A Woolworth’s liquor store worker reported to Sudha that the cause of the automatic fire alarm being triggered was a painter using a spray gun whilst painting the staff room. This has not been confirmed at this point in time by the CFC. The car park was fast emptying, as shoppers fled the scene in case of danger. The CFC trucks were on high alert with warning lights flashing and operatives were at the ready for further signs of fire or danger. Stay tuned for further updates on this scene of high drama at the Goolwa Woolworth’s shopping centre. Goolwafind will be making follow up enquiries into the exact cause of the lock down.
Great to see such a rapid response by the local CFC, it is heartening to know they are so efficient.