Six dead, dozens hurt in Italy nightclub stampede

CORINALDO, Italy: Six people, including five teenagers, died and dozens were injured in a stampede when panic broke out during a rap concert at an Italian nightclub early on 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 cause may have been the dispersal of a stinging substance, the young people fled and trampled over each other. Sadly, six people died and dozens are injured,” the fire service said in a statement on Twitter.
The victims include five people under the age of 18 — three girls and two boys — and an adult woman who accompanied her daughter to the concert.
Seven people are in a critical condition, doctors said, with at least 50 injured in total.
As the crowd panicked, people ran for the three emergency exits, one of which 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 of the stampede, 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. — AFP