6 dead, dozens hurt in club stampede in Italy

Paramedics can be seen outside the venue in Corinaldo

At least six people, a lot of them teenagers, were crushed to death in the early hours of Saturday (Dec 8) in a stampede at a nightclub where a concert was being held, officials said.

The incident occurred at a disco in Corinaldo, where an Italian rapper was entertaining the crowd, police chief Oreste Capocasa said in nearby Ancona.

Some reports suggested that police using pepper spray inside the Lanterna Azzurra club caused a panicked rush for the exits.

The report said authorities were investigating if emergency exits were working.

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 of the discos were open. "The bouncers were getting the persons out", one unidentified witness told RAI state radio.

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

Fourteen of the injured were in serious condition, and 40 others less seriously injured, Mr Poggiali said.

Some of those with minor injuries were treated and released from a hospital, he said.

"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. Another eyewitness said a wall inside the club had collapsed in the melee.

The ages of the victims were not immediately given and it was not yet clear how many people were inside when the stampede erupted.

Some survivors were quoted by Italian media as saying at least one fire exit was blocked when concertgoers tried to get out.

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