Bulgaria mourns disco crush youths
SOFIA, Bulgaria (CNN) -- Bulgaria was holding a national day of mourning on Sunday for seven teenagers who died in a stampede at a nightclub in Sofia.
"In a difficult moment like this society should show solidarity," Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg said in a statement on Saturday. He appealed to all Bulgarians to light a candle in their windows on Saturday evening.
Six girls and a boy aged between 11 and 15 died late on Friday in a stampede on an icy stairway as hundreds of youngsters tried to get into a Christmas party at Club Indigo.
Police said one teenager died on the spot and six others later in hospital. Dozen of teenagers were injured in what Interior Minister Georgi Petkanov termed a "tragic accident."
Petkanov told parliament the teenagers appeared to have suffocated in the stampede. Deputies observed a one-minute silence in their honour.
Police said 1,000 to 1,500 teens had assembled outside Club Indigo, whose entrance is at the bottom of a flight of stairs, which were covered with ice.
When the doors opened, many in the crowd slipped and fell down the stairs. They were crushed as those in the rear of the crowd, oblivious to the mishap, attempted to press their way into the club.
The incident took place at 7 p.m. (1 p.m. EST) in the centre of the capital, where the techno music of German disc jockey Tomas Shumaher was the featured attraction.
Police have launched an investigation and set up a telephone hot line for parents.
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