Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

6 dead, dozens hurt in club stampede in Italy

Fire officials said six people were killed as people tried to flee the venue Image Fire officials said six people were killed as people tried to flee the venue
Pablo Mccormick | 08 December, 2018, 16:13

Some reports say there was panic after pepper spray was sacked inside the club in the town of Corinaldo.

Italian fire officials and ANSA news agency said fans inside the club panicked and ran for the exits after someone sprayed a substance similar to pepper spray.

Police said the teenagers were aged between 14 and 16, while the dead woman was 39.

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Twelve of the injured were in a serious condition, Mr Capocasa said.

Authorities did not immediately say how old the victims were, but RAI state radio said the mother was 40, and that about 1,000 people were inside when the stampede began. Another eyewitness said a wall inside the club had collapsed in the melee. The barrier then appeared to give way, and a cascade of teenagers tumbled over it, falling on top of each other. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said there possibly was a "stink" that could have been ammonia or another substance. A teenage survivor told ANSA that when he tried to flee, he discovered that at least one of the emergency exits was locked.

The Ancona public prosecutor and police are trying to establish how many people were in the venue at the time of the stampede, with media reporting many more people inside than the authorised maximum of 871. He said that when rescuers arrived, all the doors were open.

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Some reports suggested that someone using pepper spray inside the club caused a panicked rush for the exits, but the commander of the Ancona fire service, Dino Poggiali, told Sky TG24 News that none of the survivors spoken to so far had confirmed this.

"We will find those responsible for these six broken lives, those who out of malice, stupidity or greed have turned a party night into a tragedy", he added.

Italian high schools are usually open on Saturdays, but schools were closed this weekend for the December 8 national holiday of the Immaculate Conception.

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