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Wellington - A church group has apologised after children were left bruised and scratched when they were shoved aside by adults snatching free chocolate eggs at a Good Friday Easter egg hunt, Television New Zealand reported on Tuesday.
Equippers Church pastor and event co-ordinator Wilhem Schaafhausen admitted that the event, which was held at three locations in Auckland, turned into a debacle after organisers were swamped by 40 000 people looking for free Easter eggs.
A thousand eggs were dropped by helicopter at two of the three sites, but at the third site, they had to be scattered by hand after air traffic controllers refused permission for an aerial drop.
Mayhem ensued, with teenagers and adults elbowing youngsters aside as they raced for the chocolate eggs.
Angry parents took to Facebook after the event. One mother wrote to the organisers: “Thanks for the (hospital) accident and emergency visit for my three-year-old (after) getting pushed by adults and his fingers getting trampled on after egg ripped out of his hand.”
Schaafhausen told Television New Zealand the church had been surprised by the number of people who had turned up to the event. Fewer than 4 000 attended the event when it was first run last year.
“We didn't anticipate the number that were going to turn out. We believed our projections were pretty generous,” he said.
“We were very disappointed that kids got hurt and we were also very disappointed that parents behaved the way they did.”
Schaafhausen said the church was planning a bigger and better event next year. - Sapa-dpa