Halloween party stampede kills three

Thu, Nov 1, 2012, 00:00

A stampede in an arena where thousands of people were attending a Halloween party has killed three women and critically injured two in the Spanish capital Madrid.

It happened just after 4am in a passageway inside the venue leading to the central concert area at Madrid Arena, where the disco-style party was under way.

Someone set off a flare or a firework, causing the stampede that trampled the five young women, said deputy mayor Miguel Angel Villanueva.

Thousands of people were attending the party when the stampede occurred, leaving the victims with trauma injuries or breathing and heart failure.

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 party-goers were not aware of the stampede because it was confined to the passage, he said. Halloween has recently become a popular festivity in Spain, coinciding with the traditional feast of All Saints.