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Stampede at 'America's Next Top Model' Audition Results In Injuries & Arrests

Three people were arrested and six others were injured over the weekend after bedlam broke out while contestants were waiting to audition for 'America's Next Top Model' in Manhattan.

An overheating car triggered a stampede as the aspiring models ran for their lives screaming "fire" while others in the crowd shouted "there's a bomb." Moments later a report of a man with a gun lead to even more high-heeled running and chaos.

"The girls were running like it was 9/11 part two," Jennifer Brown of Brooklyn tells the 'New York Times'. "I feared for my life." New Jersey's Annina Manttari adds "Everyone got thrown everywhere. People were getting run over."

The girls say the audition for the show, which for the first time was open only to women 5-feet-7 and under, was doomed from the start because of the number of people there. Police arrived and placed barricades along the street but that ended up only making things worse in the end with nowhere to go.

"All of a sudden we heard this roar from behind us and we looked behind us and there's a wave of people falling on top of us," Kiara McCarthy explains how it all started. "We all fell on top of each other. People were squished against the wall, screaming, 'I can't breathe! I can't breathe!'"

Police were forced to shut down the casting call, and arrested two women and one man on charges of disorderly conduct and inciting to riot. Two people were taken to a local hospital in stable condition with minor injuries, while four others refused treatment.

"I'm 5-foot-3. There's no way I can make it into a model agency," McCarthy laments about the lost chance. "They would turn me away at the door. We had an opportunity and it was taken away from us. We want another date."

Producers for 'Top Model' say they are cooperating with police, but wouldn't say if or when the auditions would be rescheduled.

March 16, 2009 |

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