It was a routine shopping excursion — a Friday night outing to get a pair of shoes at Payless ShoeSource for a little girl. Then, there was a crash, and shellshocked family members saw her lifeless in a pool of blood.
Ifrah Siddique’s family was shopping at the shoe store on state Route 85 in Riverdale, south of Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ifrah was apparently exploring near one of the store’s full-length mirrors, where shoppers can see how they look in shoes or accessories they want to buy, according to the newspaper.
But the mirror was apparently unsecured, and it toppled onto the girl’s small body around 8 p.m., the newspaper reported.
“You wouldn’t really expect it. We are all in the state of shock,” the girl’s cousin, Aqib Iftkhar, told Atlanta ABC-affiliate WSB-TV.
He told the news station that his young cousin had massive internal bleeding and had lost a lot of blood by the time paramedics arrived. She died a short time later at a nearby hospital.
La Tish Tultaick, who works next door to the Payless, heard the screams and rushed into the shoe store.
“I just saw blood and the little girl, but she was just laying there lifeless,” Tultaick told the Journal-Constitution. She said she tried to help but was held back by first responders.
Photos snapped by local news broadcasters showed what they said was the mirror in question, intact and apparently placed inside a storage room between a filing cabinet and a water fountain.
The combination of unknown hazards and distracted parents can make stores very dangerous places for children. For example, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, each year about 24,000 children are injured in incidents involving shopping carts.
In February 2017, a 10-year-old British boy died after he hit his head on a display barrier at Topshop, a clothing store in the United Kingdom, according to the Independent.
In a statement, Payless extended its condolences to Ifrah’s family.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Ifrah Siddique during this time of incredible loss,” the statement said. “We are devastated by this tragic event and are fully cooperating with authorities to research and understand the nature of this accident.”
The store’s statement said it wasn’t releasing additional information “out of respect for the family.”
But relatives said they have many, many questions.
A mirror and window repair truck was parked outside the store Saturday, WSB-TV reported.
“At least they are fixing it, but still the question is why wasn’t it secured in the first place,” Iftkhar said.
“We want to make sure this doesn’t happen again for anybody. We don’t want to see another kid get into this.”