False Media Report Sets Off Panic
Pator – A story carried by The Scope news service and relayed by various media outlets throughout the cluster sparked panic today on Pator. The story, which turned out to be fraudulent, gave explicit details about a Sansha fleet on its way to invade the Minmatar homeworld. The local stock market on the planet took a steep dive following the false news story. Some areas saw mass looting in their retail districts, while fires broke out in some residential districts in major metropolitan areas. The confusion did not dissipate when officials confirmed the news stories to be rumors.
By far the worst incident was in Liberton, a relocation camp for recently freed slaves, where local media reported Sansha dropships would be landing at their location. Approximately one million refugees evacuated their settlement camp in response to the reports. Camera drones showed large crowds of refugees heading toward the bridge leading out of camp when they suddenly surged forward. During the crush, iron railings on the bridge gave way, and hundreds of people fell into the water. Many victims, mostly women, children or elderly, were crushed or drowned.
Officials had suggested that someone in the crowd triggered the stampede by saying they had seen a Sansha dropship. Survivors later confirmed this report.
The Liberton story has been traced to a Scope employee who has now disappeared. According to investigators, this man is also the source of the original story that went over the news services in the early hours of the day. The Scope has issued a public apology and has vowed to help officials in their search for the missing reporter.