Jordan police say ceiling collapsed at Amman mall

Associated Press Modified: October 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm •  Published: October 19, 2012

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A ceiling collapsed at a mall in the Jordanian capital Friday, prompting a false alarm about an explosion as a panicked crowd ran from the area, police said.

Two police officials said five shoppers were slightly wounded when the false ceiling under construction at Amman's City Mall collapsed during peak evening hours.

"Initially, scared crowds reported a large explosion rattling the mall, but it turned out to be a hoax," one of the officials said.

The mall's manager, Wesam Qudseyeh, said people were scrambling to escape when the alarm went off, thinking that "the loud noise from the ceiling collapse was an explosion."

A car bomb earlier Friday in Beirut, Lebanon, killed seven people and sent jitters throughout the region amid tension over Syria's civil war.

Jordan is usually a safe country, tightly controlled by U.S.-trained security forces. But in 2005, a near-simultaneous attack on three hotels in the capital killed 60 people.

The two police officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not allowed to speak publicly.

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