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Three killed in Madrid Halloween stampede

Halloween party turns deadly, as three women are killed in stampede that appears to have begun after a flare was tossed into the crowd

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The facade of the Madrid arena, where the deadly Halloween stampede took place early on November 1st. (Wikimedia Commons/Wikimedia commons)

Halloween festivities turned deadly in Madrid early Thursday morning, when three women perished in a stampede at a holiday party, apparently prompted when an as-yet-unidentified reveler threw a flare into the crowd.

The BBC reports that one of the dead women was 18, while the other two were 25. Two other young people were injured in the incident, says Sky News.

The massive Halloween party took place in a sports arena that can hold up to 10,000 people, said El Pais, although it's as yet unknown how many people were actually at the event.

"There was a human crush at the only exit they had because the others were sealed off," said one attendee to the Cadana Ser radio station, according to the BBC.

Read more from GlobalPost: Cambodia: More than 300 die in stampede

Ernesto Moreno Hernandez told El Pais that he "was in the plug that was formed. It was inhuman, and you could not move forward, because there were people lying on the floor. You couldn't move backwards, because people kept pushing. So we were there for half an hour."

EMT's swiftly arrived on the scene, but were unable to revive three of the women, who had gone into cardiac arrest, added El Pais.

Electronic music and eerie special effects were the draw for the Michael-Jackson themed Thriller Music Park event at the Madrid Arena, according to the event's website.

A police investigation is underway into the Halloween event, both to ascertain if the party was overbooked, and to determine if adequate security measures were in place.

Sadly, human stampedes are not uncommon: in November 2010, 300 people died in a stampede in Cambodia, when a water festival gathering turned deadly.

Also in 2010, a July stampede at the Love Parade music festival killed 21 in Germany, and injured 510.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/spain/121101/three-killed-madrid-halloween-stampede