Shoppers have taken to Twitter to criticise Westfield for the amount of time it took to evacuate the shopping centre following a bomb scare.
The iconic White City shopping centre was packed with families grabbing a bargain during the summer sales on Sunday (June 29) when an alarm went off and everyone had to be evacuated. It took 45 minutes to get thousands of shoppers out of Westfield just after 1pm following the discovery of a suspicious package but people have complained about the lack of information which caused chaos.
Rob Pearce has lived opposite the shopping centre in MacFarlane Road for 31 years. He said: “Everything was in complete chaos. I was waiting for my girlfriend inside Westfield when the alarm went off but nobody knew anything. The shop assistants were just telling people to get out quickly then somebody said it was a bomb scare so it turned into complete mahem.
“Everyone was gathering in the Southern Terrace which was already packed, they were taking food with them and people were clambering on walls to get out. It seemed really badly managed which surprises me with such a big shopping centre.”
Others took to Twitter to illustrate their dismay. @SofieHaag wrote: “Am quite surprised by the lack of direction & safety procedures in the mall.”
@SpankTM wrote: “Their PA system is so c**p, it took us 15 mins to realise they wanted us to evacuate.”
@JohnConway30 wrote: “got evacuated earlier from westfield for a bomb scare. watching 30 people tumbling down the escalator was my highlight. (sic)”
A spokeswoman from Westfield said: "Under the advice of the Met, Westfield London was immediately evacuated on Sunday afternoon. Westfield worked closely with the Met on the evacuation and the centre was reopened after a short period of time when it was confirmed that there was no safety issue."
In May we reported how Westfield is due for a massive expansion with a 230,000 sq ft John Lewis flagship store to be created as part of the plans.