Nightclub gas attack kills seven

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The Independent Online

Two containers of toxic gas were hurled inside a Lisbon nightclub Sunday, leaving seven dead as poisonous fumes seeped over the dancefloor and hundreds scrambled for the exits, police said.

Two containers of toxic gas were hurled inside a Lisbon nightclub Sunday, leaving seven dead as poisonous fumes seeped over the dancefloor and hundreds scrambled for the exits, police said.

Sixty others were being treated in hospital.

Some of the victims died from inhaling the gas and others were trampled in the crush to get out, police said. Authorities could not immediately specify what sort of gas it was.

No one had claimed responsibility for the attack, and police had opened an investigation.

The toxic substance was released around 4:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), and at the same time the electricity was cut and the lights went out. Customers of the Luanda nightclub flew into a panic.

The dead were a 20-year-old Spanish woman, four African men and two African women, all between 20 and 25, police said. They were not immediately identified.

Joaquim Dias, 25, was inside the club when the attack took place. He felt his eyes watering and his throat burning, dipped his sweater in his drink, and covered his mouth.

"People were running everywhere," he said at a nearby police station. "The dance floor was suddenly emptied, there were people on the floor, others were being carried out."

Reporters were not allowed inside the nightclub, in the riverside area of Alcantara where many other nightclubs are located.

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