USA Today reports that a stampede at a rap concert in Italy has left 59 people injured and six dead. Rapper Sfera Ebbasta was scheduled to perform at the Lanterna Azzurna nightclub on Saturday, but the show was canceled when someone sprayed an irritant, causing panic.
A video broadcast showed teens rushing out of the venue and barreling toward a low wall. The barrier collapsed as the attendees toppled over each other. The bodies of the six trampled victims were found near the wall, with most of the fatalities caused by crushed skulls. Five of the victims were teenagers; another was a 39-year-old woman. Thirteen were left in serious condition
The venue reportedly only had a capacity of around 870, but the promoters sold almost 1,400 tickets. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that it is “probably true that there were…more people inside than was permissible.”
Salvini explained that the irritant could have been ammonia, but investigators are looking into accounts from survivors before coming to a conclusion.
“Citizens have the right to safety wherever they are, in workplaces as well as places of entertainment,” Italy's head of state, President Sergio Mattarella said in a statement. “Safety must be assured with special commitment in places where crowds gather, through rigorous inspection and checks. One cannot die this way.”