According to the Repubblica newspaper, a stampede and panic in an Italian night club left six people killed and at least 120 injured. As reported by RAI News, five minors and a woman have died as a result of the incident in a nightclub near the city of Ancona in eastern Italy.
A fire department spokesperson told Sputnik that 60 people have been hospitalized.
"Our work on the scene was completed, we helped the victims to leave the building. Death toll at the moment is six. Now there are law enforcement officers who find out the causes of the incident. We were told that about 60 people had been taken to hospitals," the spokesperson said.
He repeated an earlier reported version of the incident, according to which the panic and stampede at the concert had been triggered by someone using pepper spray during the event.
Local media reported that many of the victims were trampled, as the venue was packed at the time of the incident. According to witnesses, around 1,000 people were present in the club on Friday night.
#Corinaldo (AN) #8dic 1:00, squadre #vigilidelfuoco impegnate nel soccorso in una discoteca. Forse per la dispersione di una sostanza urticante, ragazzi fuggono per il panico calpestandosi. Sei purtroppo quelli deceduti, decine feriti pic.twitter.com/NvII0jD7oe— Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) 8 декабря 2018 г.
The incident reportedly took place at around 01:00 (midnight GMT). The Repubblica newspaper reported that 118 people are in hospital with various injuries as a result of the incident. Ten were in critical condition.
"The cause may have been the dispersal of a stinging substance, the young people fled and trampled over each over. Sadly, six people died and dozens are injured," the local fire service said in a statement, as quoted by AFP.
Earlier, local police chief Oreste Capocasa said that about 35 people had been injured in the incident, including 12 in serious condition. Lives of some of those injured were in danger, he added.
Commenting on the tragedy, French Interior Minister Matteo Salvini expressed his condolences and said that it was necessary to identify those responsible for it.
"One cannot die like this at the age of 15. My thoughts and prayers are with six people who died this night… I hope that 13 people whose condition is grave will recover soon. Those responsible for the deaths of six people should be by all means identified," Salvini posted on Facebook.
He went on saying that the upcoming peaceful gathering in Rome would be marked with a moment of silence in honor of the victims.
Salvini also said, as broadcasted by RaiNews TV channel, that he did not rule out that there had been more people in the club than permitted under security measures. He added that emergency exits might have been blocked. Salvini announced that the country's law enforcement agencies would soon make public the first results of their investigation.
The club was hosting a Sfera Ebbasta rap concert. The 26-year-old Milanese rapper recently rose to the top of the Italian charts with his 2016 self-titled album and his 2018 album Rockstar, which has gone triple-platinum this year.