Nightclub stampede in Italy leaves at least 6 dead, dozens hurt, officials say

Rescuers assist injured people outside a nightclub in Corinaldo, central Italy, early Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Stefano Pagliarini/Ancona Today via AP)

At least six people died and dozens were hurt during a stampede of panicked concertgoers, many of them young teenagers, at a disco along Italy's central Adriatic coast early Saturday, authorities said.

The dead included three girls, two boys and a woman. Around 50 people were injured in the incident, which happened around 1 a.m. local time.

The woman had accompanied her daughter to the disco in Corinaldo, near Ancona, where a rapper was set to perform, Ancona police Chief Oreste Capocasa said.

"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."

"It was a mess. … I went out the main door. People fell, one after the other, on top of each other. Absurd. "

Up to 1,000 people were believed to be inside the Lanterna Azzuerra (Blue Lantern) club that was hosting Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta.

There was panic after pepper spray was fired inside the club, according to the BBC, citing other reports.

But Ancona Firefighters Cmdr. Dino Poggiali said he didn't have any immediate confirmation from survivors that the use of an irritating spray, like pepper spray, had set off the panic.

In this frame taken from video rescuers assist injured people outside a nightclub in Corinaldo, central Italy, early Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018.=

A 16-year-old boy told Italian news agency ANSA that disco patrons were dancing while awaiting the start of the concert when the stampede erupted.

"We were dancing and waiting for the concert to start when we smelled this pungent odor," the boy told the media, according to Al Jazeera. "We ran to one of the emergency exits but we found it blocked, the bouncers told us to go back."

The boy was being treated at a hospital.

Authorities didn't immediately say how old the victims were, but RAI state radio said the deceased mother was 40.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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