Five seriously injured as Juventus fans in Turin panic over firecrackers
Juventus fans watching the Champions League final stampeded in a Turin piazza in panic after mistaking firecrackers for an explosion or gunshots.
About 400 people were being treated for injuries, Italian media reported. About five people were seriously hurt, including a 7-year-old boy who was trampled, Sky TG24 reported.
Thousands of fans had gathered to watch the Champions League final in front of a giant screen in San Carlo Square.
During the second half of the match, which local club Juventus went on to lose 1-4 to Real Madrid, video cameras show a sudden rush in the middle of the crowd that caused a surge that flung people against barriers.
Many fans then began to run out of the centre of the square, screaming in fear.
Afterwards shoes and bags littered the ground, people were seen limping and searching desperately for friends and relatives.
Police have set up an information point to help people find their loved ones, and they are investigating what caused the panic.
“I saw the entire piazza went in the direction next to the screen to escape, all in a panic,” Associated Press reporter Brian Hendrie said. “They ran, fell on the ground on the glass.” He said some reported having heard a small explosion, others a shot. “I heard five or six different versions. It sparked a panic.”
Within minutes, dazed fans in Juve’s black and white jerseys returned and milled about the piazza amid the broken bottles and rubbish littering the cobblestones, with the match largely forgotten.
The square was evacuated so quickly it was left strewn with sneakers ripped off people’s feet as they ran.