ROME: At least six people, most of them teenagers, were crushed to death in the early hours of Saturday (Dec 8) in a stampede at a nightclub where a concert was being held, officials said. Fire brigades said the stampede took place in the Lanterna Azzurra nightclub in the town of Corinaldo, near Ancona, on the Adriatic coast. The victims include five people under the age of 18 – three girls and two boys – and an adult woman who accompanied her daughter to the concert, media reports say. The cause of the stampede was not immediately clear but first reports on Italian media said the teenagers were trying to escape from the nightclub after someone had set off a can of pepper spray. “The cause may have been the dispersal of a stinging substance, the young people fled and trampled over each other. Sadly, six people died and dozens are injured,” the fire service said in a statement on Twitter. Witnesses said people were crushed to death after falling from a small wall as they attempted to flee. “We were dancing and waiting for the concert to start when we smelt this pungent odour,” a 16-year-old boy who was taken to hospital told the media. “We ran to one of the emergency exits but we found it blocked, the bouncers told us to go back.” Around 1,000 people – many of them young – were in the Lanterna Azzurra (Blue Lantern) club for a performance by Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta.