A flare set-off at the Telefonica Arena in Madrid, Spain, caused a stampede that killed three young women and injured another two, on Halloween.
The women, aged 18 to 25, attended a "Thriller Music Park" themed party at the indoor stadium, and were crushed as crowds fought to exit the facility, following the launch of the flare signal.
reports details about the event, saying that all exists were blocked in the overbooked stadium, as everybody struggled to leave.
"There was a human blockage at the one exit they had because the others were closed so that no-one could go out that way," Sandra, a witness to last night's events, said.
Five girls collapsed, and emergency operators couldn't act fast enough to save all of them, as the passageway to the stadium was sealed off by panicked partygoers. One bartender attempted CPR on one of the victims, to no avail.
"There was only one door, there was a human blockage with a lot of security staff pulling people. [...] People were crying, crushed, and there was no-one to help that girl: the waiter got up on to the bar and tried to resuscitate her," the witness said.
An ambulance was called in at 4.00 a.m., but paramedics were stopped at the stairs by the vast number of people attempting to leave the stadium at once.
First responders found the girls in cardiac arrest, but it was too late for two of them. Another victim passed away while being taken to the nearest hospital.
"We received a call at about 4 a.m. saying that there were several unconscious girls and when [we] arrived there were five girls between 18 and 25 in respiratory arrest. [...] We performed resuscitation on them and we managed to get a pulse for three of them. [...] One of the women, however, died on the way to hospital," Fernando Prados, duty chief of Madrid emergency services, stated.