Seven men held over Italy nightclub stampede deaths

Police officers stand in front of the entrance of the Lanterna Azzurra concert hall in Corinaldo Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police say the men are part of a criminal group operating in central and eastern Italy

Italian police have arrested seven young men in connection with a stampede at a nightclub last year which killed six people.

Six of those held are accused of manslaughter.

The men, aged between 19 and 22, are suspected of sparking panic by using pepper spray to rob people inside the Blue Lantern club in Corinaldo.

Five of the victims were 14 to 16 years old. The sixth was a 39-year-old woman who was at the venue with her daughter.

Police allege the men they were part of a criminal group operating in central and northern Italy.

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Media captionEmergency services attend the wounded at the scene in Corinaldo

Nearly 200 other people were injured during the incident, which took place at about 01:00 (midnight GMT) on 8 December, shortly before a concert by rapper Sfera Ebbasta was due to begin.

Police said at least 1,400 people had gathered at the event, despite the club only having capacity for less than 900.

After an “acrid smell” from the pepper spray spread through the club, crowds rushed for the emergency exits, but many were crushed or pushed off a walkway after railings gave way.

In a tweet, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini thanked investigators for their work.

“No arrest will return the victims to their loved ones, but it is our duty to identify the culprits and punish them as they deserve,” he added.


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