Hundreds of Juventus fans injured in near-stampede after false bomb alert | inside World Soccer

Hundreds of Juventus fans injured in near-stampede after false bomb alert

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Juventus fans watching the Champions League final in a Turin piazza are reported to have been hurt after a near-stampede was triggered in what news reports said was an apparent false alarm.

Thousands of people were gathered to watch the match between Juventus and Real Madrid on a large screen in the Piazza San Carlo.

Madrid had just scored the third goal when hundreds of people ran from the middle of the crowd that after some reported hearing a loud sound.

Just weeks after the suicide bomb attack in Manchester, people assumed the worst and started running, causing a crush and injuries.

The square was evacuated so quickly it was left strewn with sneakers ripped off people's feet as they ran.

Afterwards, people were seen limping and searching desperately for friends and relatives amid the broken bottles and rubbish littering the cobblestones.

Police have set up an information point to help people find their loved ones, and they are investigating what caused the panic.

"The root cause of this was panic, to understand what triggered it we will have to wait a while," Renato Saccone, the prefect of Turin, was quoted as saying by AFP.

There are at least five people in critical condition, including a young woman with chest injuries and a four-year-old child with head and chest trauma.

Some injuries occurred after a railing around the entrance to an underground parking beneath the square gave way under the weight of the crush.

Local media cited older Juventus fans present as saying the panic had evoked painful memories of the 1985 Heysel disaster in which 39 mostly Italian fans died when fans were crushed by a collapsing wall before the start of that year's European Cup final against Liverpool.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said after the match, which they lost 4-1: "We are first of all sad to hear what happened with our fans in Turin and want to send our love to all those affected by it."

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