Halloween stampede: three dead
A HALLOWEEN party stampede left three women dead and two others critically injured in Madrid yesterday.
Thousands of people were attending a disco-style party in the Madrid Arena but hundreds stampeded down a passageway leading to the central concert area after a flare or firework was set off by a reveller, deputy mayor Miguel Angel Villanueva said.
One witness said the stampede left partygoers piled on top of one another as high as her shoulders. “I saw a mass of people screaming ‘Help, get me out of here,’ with security guards tugging at them,” Ana Gomez told state broadcaster TVE. “I remember seeing the face of one young man, and his expression was that of sheer terror.”
Many of those hurt suffered trauma injuries or breathing difficulties and heart failure, emergency services spokesman Fernando Prado said.
Mr Villanueva said the venue’s maximum capacity of 10,600 people had not been exceeded and that authorities decided not to evacuate the arena when the accident occurred. Most partygoers were not aware of the stampede because it was confined to the passage, he said.
Halloween is an increasingly popular festival in Spain, falling on the eve of All Saints’. Crush deaths at dance events are rare. Two years ago in Duisburg, Germany, 19 were crushed to death in a stampede and 342 injured at a stadium techno party.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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