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Gunshot causes stampede at US music festival

Reported gunfire sent festivalgoers into a stampede at Musikfest in Pennsylvania on Saturday night (13 August), prompting police to temporarily shut down the area.

The annual 10-day music festival in the Leigh Valley town of Bethlehem was wrapping up its penultimate night when a gunshot was heard near Main and Lehigh Streets.

Alarmed by the shooting, attendees were reportedly sent into a panic that led to several being injured in a crowdsurge.

One attendee told local newspaper The Morning Call that “no one knew” what was happening and in the midst of the stampede she saw people fall and get stepped on.

“I tried helping [someone] up. He couldn’t catch his breath. He was bleeding profusely on his hands”

She continued: “I tried helping [someone] up. He couldn’t catch his breath. He was bleeding profusely on his hands, so I tried to help them as much as I could. I thought maybe he was in a fight. The bleeding was coming a lot from his knuckles but it turned out it was because they stepped on his hands.”

It’s unclear how many people were involved in the shooting but Bethlehem police chief Michelle Kott said “law enforcement [was] on site and in control of the situation”, and that there was “no known continuing threat to the public”.

Kott described the shooting as an “isolated incident” and said that an investigation had been launched.

The festival was shut down Saturday night as a precaution but was authorised to reopen on Sunday.


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