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Austria disco explosion injures 27

The disco is often frequented by young Serbian and Croatian immigrants.  

LINZ, Austria (CNN) -- An explosion at a disco in the Austrian city of Linz has injured 27 people, most of them teenagers, emergency officials say.

Police say they found remnants of a hand grenade at the scene, and witnesses say many of the injured were hit by shrapnel. Two are said to be in a serious condition.

The explosion happened at about 3.15 a.m. (1.15 GMT) at the X-Large Disco in Linz, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Vienna, police spokesman Michael Tischlinger said.

He said pieces of a grenade were found not far from the disc jockey's booth.

Tischlinger described an eyewitness account from the club as "a flash on the dance floor followed by a terrible explosion."

Map: Linz, Austria 

The force of the blast sent spotlights crashing to the floor. About 40 people are said to have been inside the disco at the time.

The injured, most of them aged 15 to 20 years, were taken to hospitals in Linz for treatment.

Martin Fischemeister, the surgeon in charge at the Unfall hospital in Linz, said 10 young men had been brough to the hospital.

He said two remained in intensive care with body wounds and a third was still in the operating theatre.

"All of our patients are in stable condition and I would not describe any of their injuries as life-threatening," he said.

Robert Akalovic
Robert Akalovic was one of the 27 victims  

He added that three patients remained in wards and that four had been treated and discharged.

Fischmeister added that police were still in the process of interviewing patients who remained at the hospital.

The disco is in a part of the city known locally as "Little Munich," and is often frequented by young Serbian and Croatian immigrants.

The Austrian Interior Ministry is sending a team of explosives experts to the scene.

Tischlinger added that hand grenades are relatively easy to obtain in Western Europe and that gangs have used them as weapons in the past.




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