Panic, Then a Stampede: 6 Dead at Nightclub Concert

Dozens injured after tragic night at disco in Italy; 'stinging substance' may have spurred panic
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2018 6:00 AM CST

Three young women, two young men, and a mom who'd taken her daughter to a rap concert at a nightclub in Corinaldo, Italy, have died, and dozens more have been injured, after a moment of panic that led to a stampede Saturday. Police rep Col. Cristian Corrazza tells the AP the ages of the deceased teens range from 14 to 16, while the mother who died was 39; he adds that more than a dozen of those injured are said to be in serious condition. The tragedy is being partly blamed on the Lanterna Azzurra ("Blue Lantern") club being overcrowded—Corrazza notes up to 1,000 were reported inside—and also on something akin to pepper spray that may have prompted the panic, per NDTV. "The cause may have been the dispersal of a stinging substance, the young people fled and trampled over each other," the local fire department tweeted.

The presence of a sprayed irritant still hasn't been confirmed. The mostly young crowd that had gone to see rapper Sfera Ebbasta was congregated outside one of the club's exits when a group reportedly started "surging" toward a low railing or wall; that barrier then gave way. A video apparently taken of the incident and cited by the New York Times shows crowds of people outside the club, then a section of people falling. A radio report notes most of those who died (CNN has their names) suffered crushed skulls. Reports on the number of those injured range from 35 to around 60. Italy's interior minister, Matteo Salvini, lamented the "six broken lives" and railed into the person or persons who "out of nastiness, stupidity, or greed transformed an evening of partying into tragedy," per the AP.

(Read more Italy stories.)

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