6 people dead, dozens hurt in nightclub stampede in Italy

Six dead and scores injured in Italian nightclub stampede

Six people have died in a crush sparked by panic at a nightclub in central Italy, local authorities said this morning. The boy, who was being treated in hospital, said at least one of the emergency exits was locked when he tried to flee. About 50 other people were injured, about a dozen seriously.

The Italian fire service tweeted: "The cause may have been the dispersal of a stinging substance, the young people fled and trampled over each other".

Sky Italia TV has reported that the teenagers were all aged between 14 and 16, while the woman was 39.

"From the initial investigation we have verified that more tickets were sold than the place could hold" in terms of capacity, Col. Cristian Corrazza, commander of Ancona province's paramilitary police, was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA.

The Lanterna Azzurra club was packed when, some local reports suggest, pepper spray was sacked inside the club in Corinaldo.

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"People can not die like this", said Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who also serves as interior minister.

Firefighters had concentrated on giving first aid to survivors, stretched out on the road outside the club, before starting their investigation, Poggiali said.

"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 in a statement. That could have made it more likely that young teenagers were at the disco in the wee hours.

Those killed in the resulting rush to the doors included three girls, two boys and an adult woman - a mother who had accompanied her daughter to the Lanterna Azzurra nightclub in Corinaldo, police chief Oreste Capocasa said.

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