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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Italy nightclub stampede kills 6 and injures more than 50

The incident took place at a concert for one of Italy's most popular rappers

A stampede at a nightclub in Italy has killed six people and injured about 50 others, according to local officials.

The dead included three girls, two boys and an adult woman - a mother who had accompanied her daughter to the concert in Corinaldo, said Oreste Capocasa, police chief of the nearby city of Ancona on Italy's Adriatic coast.

At least 12 were described as seriously injured with some suffering from broken limbs.

The Lanterna Azzurra club was hosting the event featuring the rapper Sfera Ebbasta and patrons were waiting for it to begin when the stampede took place.

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.

Rescuers found all the doors of disco open when they arrived, he said, contrary to some survivor accounts that at least one emergency exit was blocked.

The tragedy took place around 1am local time. Local emergency services tweeted pictures of first responders treating injured patrons outside the nightclub.

Mr Poggiali said the bodies of the victims were all found near a low wall inside the disco.

Fourteen of the injured were in serious condition, and some 40 others less seriously injured, he said. Some of those with minor injuries were treated and released from hospital.

"It was a mess. The bouncers were getting the persons out," one unidentified witness told RAI state radio. "I went out the main door. People fell, one after the other, on top of each other. Absurd."

A 16-year-old boy told the Italian news agency ANSA that people were dancing before the concert when the stampede erupted. The boy, who was being treated at a hospital, said that at least one of the emergency exits was locked when he tried to flee.

Authorities did not immediately provide names and ages of the victims, but RAI said the mother was 40. It said there were about 1,000 people in the club when the stampede began.

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