Six teenagers have died trying to escape a fire that engulfed a nightclub in northern Serbia, police said today.
“One of them was just half-a-metre from an exit,” said senior police official Predrag Maric. “There must have been huge panic, they all rushed to get out.”
The fire in the Contrast disco in the northern city of Novi Sad broke out around the stage area during a live performance at around 2am local time (12am Irish time), Mr Maric said. It quickly spread as some 350 people rushed to the exits in an attempt to flee the blaze.
He said the victims were three boys and three girls, aged 17 to 18, who most likely choked to death.
Two more people were injured but their lives are not in danger, doctors said.
Mr Maric said an investigation is under way to determine what caused the fire, and he added that the “responsibility for the tragedy must be established”.
Authorities in Novi Sad said a day of mourning will be declared for the victims. Serbia’s President Boris Tadic has expressed condolences to the families in a statement.