CORINALDO, Italy (CelebrityAccess) A stampeded, apparently triggered by pepper spray, early this morning has left at least six dead and more than 50 injured, mostly teenagers, at a rap concert at an overcrowded Italian disco.
Video broadcast from Italian state TV RaiNews24 shows dozens of teenagers rushing out an exit door of the Blue Lantern disco in Corinaldo, near Ancona on the Adriatic coast, according to the Associated Press. The crowd surged toward a low wall near the exit and appeared to give way, with teenagers tumbling over it, landing atop each other.
The bodies of the trampled victims were all found near the wall, firefighter spokesman Cmdr. Dino Poggiali reportedly told Sky TG24 News.
One of the dead was a mother accompanying her 8-year-old daughter to the concert; the stampede has left 53 people injured with 13 in critical condition, according to an Ancona interior ministry official. All of the critically injured are said to be between 14 and 20 years old.
The concert for rapper Sfera Ebbasta, who is popular with Italian youth, had a reported capacity of 469 people but about 1,400 tickets were sold, according to Ancona Chief Prosecutor Monica Garulli.
The stampede occurred at 1 a.m., 30 minutes before Ebbasta’s set was to start. Italian media quoted concertgoers saying someone had sprayed an irritant, triggering a panic. Interior Minister Matteo confirmed there was apparently a “stink” at the venue.
Ebbasta said on Twitter he was deeply pained by the tragedy and, without passing judgment, wanted everyone to “to stop and think how dangerous and stupid it is to use pepper spray in a discotheque.”
— Sfera Ebbasta (@sferaebbasta) December 8, 2018
If the report of pepper spray is confirmed, it hearkens back to the deadly incident in Chicago in 2003, when 21 people died and more than 50 were injured after pepper spray was employed by security guards at the E2 nightclub. The panic resulted in a pileup against an exit door that opened inward, a fire code violation, at the bottom of a stairwell.
Last month, a Lil Pump concert in the UK was evacuated because of a smoke bomb released in the venue.