TURIN (Italy) • More than 1,500 people were injured, seven seriously, after a bomb scare triggered a stampede among Juventus fans watching the Champions League final, local authorities said yesterday.
In an update on Saturday's dramatic events in a square packed with supporters watching the Cardiff match on a giant screen, the Turin prefecture said 1,527 had been treated for mainly minor injuries.
Seven people were in a serious but not life-threatening condition, including a young boy.
Local media described him as a seven-year-old and said he was in a coma with serious chest injuries after being trampled in the crush.
AFP reporters who witnessed the scenes said the panic seemed to have been triggered by fireworks, followed by one or more people shouting that a bomb had exploded - a notion that panicked the crowd.
The incident compounded a miserable night for Juventus fans, whose team lost the final 4-1 to Real Madrid. It also underlined the impact recent acts of terror are having on a jittery public across Europe, and the dilemmas now faced by organisers of any mass gathering of people following the Bataclan, Paris and Manchester concert attacks.
Several thousand fans had turned up to watch the match in the Piazza San Carlo in downtown Turin.
As fear took hold, a rush towards exit points quickly accelerated and the square emptied so quickly it was left strewn with hundreds of shoes ripped off people's feet as they ran.
The square was still dotted with shoes, clothes, bags and patches of blood yesterday morning. "It was really awful - we really thought it was Manchester (concert bombing) again," said Luca, one of the fans caught up in the incident.