Six dead in Italy club stam­pede

Panic at rap­per’s con­cert causes teens to get tram­pled

The Star Malaysia - - World -

ROME: A stam­pede at a rap­per’s con­cert at a crowded disco on Italy’s cen­tral Adri­atic coast killed five young teenagers and a woman who had ac­com­pa­nied her daugh­ter to the event, said po­lice, who put the num­ber of in­jured at 59.

Cara­binieri para­mil­i­tary po­lice Col. Cristian Car­rozza said the dead teenagers’ ages ranged from 14 to 16 and the woman was 39. Of those in­jured, 13 were in se­ri­ous con­di­tion, he said.

Ital­ian me­dia said the woman had gone with her daugh­ter to the Lan­terna Az­zurra (Blue Lantern) disco in Cori­naldo, near An­cona, where rap­per Sfera Eb­basta, who is very pop­u­lar with young teenagers, was set to per­form.

The bod­ies of the tram­pled vic­tims were all found near a low wall in­side the disco, An­cona Fire­fight­ers Cmdr Dino Pog­giali told Sky TG24 News.

The Ital­ian news agency ANSA ear­lier had re­ported that some­one had sprayed an ir­ri­tant, which trig­gered the panic. Ital­ian In­te­rior Min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini said there pos­si­bly was a “stink” that could have been am­mo­nia or an­other sub­stance.

“What is prob­a­bly true is that there were ... more peo­ple in­side than was per­mis­si­ble,” Salvini said, with­out cit­ing fig­ures.

RAI state ra­dio said about 1,000 peo­ple were in­side the disco when the stam­pede erupted.

Some sur­vivors were quoted by Ital­ian me­dia as say­ing at least one fire exit was blocked when con­cert-go­ers tried to get out. But Salvini said ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion

What is prob­a­bly true is that there were ... more peo­ple in­side than was per­mis­si­ble. Mat­teo Salvini

“ap­pears to knock down that pos­si­bil­ity”.

In­stead, he said, two para­pets had ap­par­ently fallen down. It wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear if that hap­pened be­cause of the stam­pede or was a cause of the stam­pede.

Fire com­man­der Pog­giali said it was too early in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to know if any safety vi­o­la­tions might have played a role. He said that when res­cuers ar­rived, all the doors were open.

Pog­giali also said he didn’t have any im­me­di­ately con­fir­ma­tion about use of any ir­ri­tat­ing spray. Fire­fight­ers had con­cen­trated on giv­ing first aid to sur­vivors, stretched out on the road out­side the club, be­fore start­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tion, he said.

Ital­ian high schools are usu­ally open on Satur­days, but schools were closed this week­end for the Dec 8 na­tional hol­i­day of the Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion. That could have made it more likely that young teenagers were at the disco in the wee hours. An­cona Po­lice Chief Oreste Capoc­asa said the dead teenagers were three girls and two boys.

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