Concert stampede in Italy leaves 6 dead, over 50 hurt
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.