Con­cert stam­pede in Italy leaves 6 dead, over 50 hurt

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - World - AP— XIN­HUA

CORINALDO, Italy — Teenagers pan­icked be­fore a rap con­cert at a jammed Ital­ian disco, set­ting off a stam­pede that killed five of them and a mother who had brought her daugh­ter to the event, au­thor­i­ties and sur­vivors said. Fifty-three peo­ple were re­ported in­jured, in­clud­ing 13 in very se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

Sev­eral sur­vivors said panic spread through the late-night crowd af­ter some­one un­leashed an ir­ri­tant spray. In­ves­ti­ga­tors said they were check­ing those re­ports.

“The cause may have been the dis­per­sal of a sting­ing sub­stance, young peo­ple fled and stepped on each other. Un­for­tu­nately, six peo­ple died, dozens in­jured,” the Fire Corp wrote on Twit­ter.

Video on state TV RaiNews24 showed scores of teenagers rush­ing out a door and surg­ing to­ward a low wall near an exit at the Blue Lan­tern disco in the cen­tral Ital­ian town of Corinaldo, near An­cona on the Adri­atic coast. The bar­rier then gives way and a cas­cade of teenagers tum­ble over it, fall­ing on top of each other.

The vic­tims — three girls and two boys — ranged in age from 14 to 16 and the mother who was killed was 39, said Colonel Cris­tian Car­rozza, com­man­der of the An­cona province Cara­binieri para­mil­i­tary po­lice.

The stam­pede oc­curred shortly af­ter 1 am, less than 30 min­utes be­fore the con­cert by Ital­ian rap­per Sfera Eb­basta was to be­gin.

Au­thor­i­ties said or­ga­niz­ers had sold far too many tick­ets for the space. An­cona Chief Pros­e­cu­tor Mon­ica Garulli told re­porters that about 1,400 tick­ets were sold but the disco was only able to hold about 870 peo­ple.

Later, Pre­mier Giuseppe Conte, who vis­ited the scene, said the disco had three rooms but in­ex­pli­ca­bly only used one for the con­cert, and it only holds 469 peo­ple.

While pros­e­cu­tors in­ves­ti­gate “the gov­ern­ment must ask it­self what to so that such tragedies must never hap­pen again”, Conte said.

Doc­tors said the most crit­i­cally in­jured from the con­cert, all be­tween 14 and 20 years old, suf­fered cra­nial and chest trau­mas, while oth­ers had arm or leg in­juries.

Sfera Eb­basta wrote on Twit­ter that he was “deeply pained” by the tragedy.

Fire com­man­der Pog­giali said it was too early in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to know if any safety vi­o­la­tions at the site might have played a role in the tragedy.

Ital­ian Pres­i­dent Ser­gio Mattarella de­manded a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Cit­i­zens have the right to safety wher­ever they are, in work­places as well as places of en­ter­tain­ment,” Mattarella said.

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