Turin: Stampede at football screening injures hundreds

Two fans in critical condition after loud sound spreads panic among thousands gathered to watch Champions League final.

    Thousands gathered to watch the final in front of a giant screen in Turin's San Carlo Square [Giorgio Perottino/Reuters]
    Thousands gathered to watch the final in front of a giant screen in Turin's San Carlo Square [Giorgio Perottino/Reuters]

    Up to 1,400 people were injured in the Italian city of Turin at a stampede during a public screening of the Champions League final, local media reported on Sunday quoting emergency services.

    Around 30,000 people were watching the match on Saturday between Turin side Juventus and Real Madrid at the city's Piazza San Carlo when fans began running away in panic.

    Turin's police chief said the stampede may have been triggered by someone letting off a firework, with people mistaking it for a bomb. Local newspaper La Stampa also reported that a collapsed barrier could have led to the panic

    At least eight people were seriously injured. A seven-year-old boy and a woman were reported to be in a critical condition. Most of the other injuries were believed to be minor.

    The square was evacuated so quickly it was left strewn with hundreds of sneakers ripped off people's feet as they ran, officials said.

    Most of the Juventus fans suffered minor injuries [Giorgio Perottino/Reuters]

    The incident compounded a sorrowful night for supporters of Juventus, who lost the Cardiff final 4-1 to Real Madrid.

    Video cameras showed a sudden rush in the middle of the crowd that caused a surge that flung people against barriers. Some of the injuries occurred after a railing around the entrance to an underground parking beneath the square gave way under the weight of the crush, officials said.

    Afterwards shoes and bags littered the ground, people were seen limping and searching desperately for friends and relatives.

    Police said they are investigating what caused the panic and an information line has been set up to help people find their loved ones.

    A similar incident happened in 1985 in Heysel stadium in Belgium, in which 39 mostly Italians and Juventus fans were killed and 600 were injured after being crushed by a collapsing wall before the start of that year's European Cup final, against Liverpool.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.