Teenagers killed in Bulgarian nightclub stampede

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The Independent Online

At least seven teenagers died and six others were seriously injured yesterday when hundreds of revellers tried to enter a Sofia disco to mark the end of the Bulgarian school term.

Hundreds skidded on an icy staircase at the Indigo club, where 1,500 teenagers had crowded at the entrance. Georgi Petkanov the Interior Minister, said one teenager was killed on the spot and six others died later in hospital.

A teenage girl told Bulgarian television. "We were crammed into each other and we could not breathe. It was a real nightmare."

Anton Popov, who had been waiting to get in, said: "It was a Christmas party. I was on the staircase when I heard screams from inside and I first thought that people were having fun."

Nikolai Madzharov, a security official at the disco, said there had been a stampede. "Those behind pressed those in front and suffocated them."

Simeon Saxcoburggotski, the Prime Minister, went to the hospital where the injured teenagers were being treated.

Officials were investigating the cause but Mr Petkanov said the owners of the disco, a former ice rink with a capacity of 4,000, did not appear to be at fault.