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Stampede for ‘Elmo’ doll puts store worker in hospital

December 15, 1996 GMT

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick (AP) _ A crowd rushing for ``Tickle Me Elmo″ dolls trampled a toy store employee Saturday, sending the man to the hospital.

A Wal-Mart store had a sale for 48 of the dolls, one of the hottest items in the United States and Canada this Christmas. Three hundred people had lined up outside for five hours before the sale started.

When the doors opened, the customers rushed in and an employee lowering the dolls from top shelves was hit by the crush.

The employee, who was not identified, was treated for bruises at a hospital and released, said Wal-Mart support manager Jamie Moffat.

Assistant manager Randy Hitchcock said he hasn’t seen such a toy craze since the days of the Cabbage Patch kids.

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