Organisers of tragic Halloween event jailed

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© Wikimedia
VENUE: The fatal incident unfolded at the Madrid Arena.

A MADRID court has handed jail sentences to five people over the deaths of five young women at a Halloween event in 2012.

Organisers of the overcrowded gathering at the Madrid Arena were found guilty of negligent homicide and face sentences of two-and-a-half to four years.

They must also pay fines totalling €350,000 alongside two other men who have not been jailed.

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Miguel Angel Flores, who owns a private company that organised the event, sold 16,492 tickets for the venue which has a capacity of 10,620, and this “generated obvious risk for the physical safety of those present.”

The court also confirmed that Flores had wilfully ordered for exits and stairs to be closed, reducing security “with the aim of making the biggest possible economic gain”.

Three women aged between 18 and 20 were killed in a crushing stampede which developed at the arena on November 1, 2012, while two others, aged 17 and 20, died in hospital from injuries sustained in the melee.

Police and witnesses have said that the panic erupted due to revellers throwing firecrackers and a flare, with mobile phone videos taken on the night depicting chaotic images of  a terrified crowd.

Rescue attempts were complicated since ambulances were unable to reach the venus due to the mass of people outside.

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