A SHOPPER has described yesterday's fire drill at Merry Hill as "mayhem".

Shoppers were filmed filing out of the shopping centre in footage posted on Facebook early yesterday (Wednesday October 7) and mall bosses later confirmed the evacuation had been a fire drill.

Some unsuspecting early morning customers, however, had no idea it was a drill at the time and thought there was a fire.

One woman, aged 59, who asked not to be named, said: "It was really frightening Everybody was panicking because we thought it was a real fire."

She told the News she has sight problems and her husband, aged 68, has heart problems and she added: "It was mayhem. We were being shouted at, all the shops shut - and everybody was crowded together.

"My husband's heart was pounding. It's a wonder there wasn't an accident."

She said she has since complained to intu Merry Hill about the handling of the evacuation which was at around 9.30am.

A spokesman for the shopping mall said: "Yesterday, the centre was fully evacuated as part of a routine training exercise, which we are required to do for both the safety of our staff and visitors and we thank our shoppers for their patience if they were caught up in the simulation.

"We constantly review and test our procedures to make sure our health, safety and security procedures are the best they can be and that high standards are always met."