LOS ANGELESIn one of the most devastating tragedies in the history of the Academy Awards, 240 attendees were killed in a deadly stampede at Hollywood's Dolby Theater Sunday after a bucketful of Oscars was just dumped onto the stage, triggering a frenzied rush for the statuettes by every audience member in attendance.
According to eyewitness accounts, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Howard Koch carried a large plastic tub filled with Academy Awards to the center of the stage halfway through the ceremony and wordlessly overturned the container, sending 120 of the highly prized trophies tumbling into a pile on the floor and causing screaming audience members to abruptly vault from their seats and charge toward the stage to reach the scattered Oscars.
Sources confirmed that over 1,000 guests suffered serious injuries from the stampede of actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, makeup artists, costume designers, dates, and cinematographers.
"There was this moment or two of eerie silence right after he dumped out the Oscars, and then all hell broke loose," said actor Mark Ruffalo, bleeding profusely from a head wound and wincing in pain from an apparent dislocated shoulder. "Christ, people just went crazy while scrambling to get those trophies. I saw people out therepeople I've worked with and know welldo terrible things. Just terrible things."
"I'm lucky to be alive," Ruffalo added. "And lucky that I was able to get out of there with an Oscar for Best Production Design, too."
Early reports have confirmed that Jack Nicholson, Amy Adams, George Clooney, Kate Winslet, Michael Douglas, Charlize Theron, Brave lead animator Austin Madison, Tom Wilkinson, and Jake Gyllenhaal were killed in the stampede of Hollywood elite.
Mangled bodies believed to be those of Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Tim Burton, Paul Giamatti, Rob Reiner, Helen Mirren, Ang Lee, and numerous others were also found but could not be positively identified at press time.
While most of the fatalities were allegedly accidental, several eyewitnesses informed reporters that Sissy Spacek was, in fact, murdered. Sources confirmed that Spacek attempted to escape the bedlam with an Oscar in hand, but was cornered by the cast of Les Misérables and viciously beaten to death.
"No one was innocent tonight; everybody out there was storming that stage like their lives depended on it," said security guard Chris Brooks, who watched helplessly as his coworkers were overwhelmed by a rush of starlets blindly searching for the nearest statuette. "The sounds of bones snapping in half and bloodcurdling screeches will definitely haunt me for the rest of my life."
"At one point, I turned around and saw Ron Howard, with this wild look in his eyes, strangling Lauren Bacall," Brooks continued. "He was covered in blood and daring people to come at him. It's an image I'll never forget."
Emergency medical responders who arrived at the traumatic scene said they were stunned not only by the sheer number of deceased A-list celebrities strewn about the auditorium, but also by the degree of emotional trauma suffered by those survivors who were unable to claim one of the free Oscars.
"Some of them came so close but just didn't quite make it," said paramedic Virginia Cox of the televised event, which early reports are indicating was the most watched Oscars telecast in history. "Remember, many of these people had to trample beloved co-stars and crew members in order to reach the front of that stage, so to end the night empty-handed was doubly tragic for them."
At press time, acclaimed director Steven Spielberg was reportedly last seen exiting the theater, struggling to carry approximately 57 Oscars in his arms.