East Point officials: Rumors of death in crowd false

East Point authorities said that despite Wednesday’s chaos at Tri-Cities Plaza, when dozens of people waiting to pick up Section 8 housing assistance applications were overcome by heat, persistant rumors of a child’s death are false.

An East Point police official told the AJC Thursday that the rumor of the fatality was being spread on Facebook. But fire officials confirmed that there were no fatalities among the 20 people sent to the hospital and 42 others treated at the scene, where a crowd estimated at 30,000 had gathered for the applications.

East Point Assistant Fire Chief William Ware also said the rumor was false. "I don't know how that [rumor] got started, but it really perpetuated itself," he said.

The rumors of deaths also continued to circulate through the crowd that showed up at the East Point Housing Authority offices on Thursday to return completed assistance forms.

“You know, three babies died out there yesterday,” Marissa White told an AJC reporter early Thursday. “Somebody left their baby in the car and the baby died, a baby fell on the ground and I guess people ran over the baby.”

Not so, according to authorities.

“We didn’t have any deaths associated with that,” said Tami Schroder, a senior investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.