Six dead in stampede at Italian nightclub: firefighters

Emergency personnel attend to victims of a stampede at a nightclub in Corinaldo, near Ancona, Italy, in this undated handout picture obtained by Reuters December 8, 2018. (Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via REUTERS)

Six people died in a stampede at a nightclub near Ancona in central Italy after panic erupted in the early hours of Saturday morning, firefighters said.

"The cause may have been the dispersal of a stinging substance, the young people fled and trampled over each other. Sadly, six people died and dozens are injured," the fire service said in a statement on Twitter.

Local reports said around 1,000 people were in the Blue Lantern club in the town of Corinaldo on the Adriatic coast for a performance by Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta.

The accident happened around 1:00 am (0000 GMT).

"We were dancing and waiting for the concert to start when we smelt this pungent odour," a 16-year-old boy who was taken to hospital told the media.

"We ran to one of the emergency exits but we found it blocked, the bouncers told us to go back."

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Six dead in stampede at Italian nightclub: firefighters

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