David Beckham caused a stampede in Beijing Thursday.
Nearly 1,000 fans, who had gathered to catch a glimpse of soccer legend David Beckham, stormed through a gate, forcefully pushing their way through the line of police and guards.
Among the injured are three police officers, two university security guards, and two students.
The incident occurred at Shanghai Tongji University, where the newly-retired celebrity was on site to meet members of the university team.
AP reports, Chu Dan, a Tongji University soccer player described the stampede as “too crazy”.
“… we didn’t expect so many people show up here,” he explained. “Too many fans of Beckham.”
Photos show people pushed to the ground, scared faces, and a woman being carried away from the scene with blood covering her face. The panic in the crowd is palpable as we witness people fleeing from the situation, or helping to drag the hurt away from the mass of fans.
The event was cancelled as a result of the stampede and Shanghai police are now investigating the incident.
A post on the star’s new microblog – hosted on the popular Chinese-language Sina Weibo platform – sends best wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured, and explains the cancellation, saying it was “impossible to get through the massive crowds”.
The 38-year-old father of three, who is married to designer Victoria Beckham, made his official Sina Weibo debut this week, reports South China Morning Post, and had already gained more than 400,000 followers after only one day.
Akin to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, Weibo has become popular with celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Adele. Beckham’s own wife, who has been using the site for four months, has gained more than 1.3 million followers.
David Beckham is currently visiting China on a week-long promotional tour. He has been hired by the Chinese Super League as an “image ambassador” to promote the country’s top league sport.