6 dead, dozens hurt dur­ing stam­pede at Italy night­club

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - W RLD - —AFP

Cori­naldo: Six peo­ple, in­clud­ing five teenagers, died and 120 were in­jured in a stam­pede when panic broke out dur­ing a rap con­cert at a packed Ital­ian night­club early Satur­day.

The sus­pected use of a pep­per spray-like sub­stance is thought to have sparked the chaos at the venue in the town of Cori­naldo, near An­cona in cen­tral Italy, the fire ser­vice said in a state­ment on Twit­ter.

But cara­binieri po­lice spokesman Cris­tian Car­rozza later said they were still “try­ing to as­cer­tain what had caused the youths to rush out”, ad­ding: “There are three ex­its and one of these was used.”

The vic­tims in­clude three girls and two boys aged be­tween 14 and 16 and a 39-yearold woman who ac­com­pa­nied her daugh­ter to the con­cert.

Some 10 peo­ple are in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion, doc­tors said, with at least 120 in­jured in total. “Around 1,400 tick­ets were sold for the con­cert and the place could only ac­co­mo­date 870 peo­ple,” said Mon­ica Garulli from the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice in An­cona.

The exit used led to a small bridge and the car park. The force of the flee­ing crowd made a rail­ing col­lapse and dozens of peo­ple fell, crush­ing those at the bot­tom of the pile, ac­cord­ing to a pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Grainy mo­bile phone footage ap­peared to show part of a walk­way collapsing, send­ing dozens of peo­ple tum­bling down.

Iron­i­cally, those who re­mained in­side the night­club were un­harmed.

“We were danc­ing and wait­ing for the con­cert to start when we smelt this pun­gent odour,” a 16-year-old boy who was taken to hos­pi­tal told the me­dia. “We ran to one of the emer­gency ex­its but we found it blocked, the bounc­ers told us to go back.”

A pile of aban­doned shoes tes­ti­fied to the chaos, with sur­vivors and the be­reaved weep­ing out­side the night­club as emer­gency ve­hi­cles tended to the in­jured, lo­cal news­pa­per An­cona To­day re­ported.

“It can’t be! You can’t die like that. Wake up Mat­tia, I beg you,” one un­named woman cried as she knelt by her son’s body, the pa­per said. The ac­ci­dent hap­pened at around 1 am.

“Usu­ally one doesn’t any noise, one hardly hears the mu­sic but one hears the laugh­ter of the youths when they ar­rive or leave” the club, said Ines Pa­trig­nani, who lives in an ad­join­ing house. “But this morn­ing, I was wo­ken by the sounds of cries and sob­bing,” the 86-year-old said.

—AP

Res­cuers as­sist in­jured peo­ple in Cori­naldo, Italy on Satur­day

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