Posted on August 2, 2016

Terrifying Scenes as 40 People Are Injured in Beer Festival Stampede After Someone Shouts ‘ISIS’ for Joke

Kara O'Neill, Mirror, August 2, 2016

These were the terrifying scenes as hundreds of people ran for their lives at a beer festival after someone shouted ‘ISIS’ for a joke.

More than 40 people were injured in the stampede at the Beer Fest in Kosovo’s capital of Pristina after apparently a gun was fired and many wrongly thought it was a terror attack.

After hearing the name of the terror group being called in the crowd, people started to run away as fast as they could from the square in which the festival was held.

Two people were seriously injured in the stampede, and there were also unconfirmed reports in local media that a boy aged 15 had been shot.

It is not uncommon for people in Kosovo to own a gun, so a weapon may have been fired in the panic.

According to some estimates, about 20 percent of the country owns a gun.

In a video of the stampede, people can be seen pushing each other after the panic broke out. In one case, a man can be seen treading on another man as he flees.

People were hiding in alleys and smashing their way into buildings to look for a place to hide.

Many lost their shoes or other people in the panic and were running barefoot trying to escape the square.

A witness told local media that once the initial stampede had started, people did not even know the real reason why they were running.

“The only thing that was putting fear in the people was someone who shouted: ‘Run, ISIS is here.’ That alone, as well as the gunshot, was enough for people to panic.”

Another witness named Arton said: “We noticed that something was not right. People began to push and to throw over each other. I was in the middle of it, people came pushing at us and knocked us over. People were crying, shouting they have to flee.”

The organiser of the beer festival, Ekrem Tahiri, says that the gun shots actually came from a person who was shooting a toy gun.

The mayor of Pristina has decided to revoke the permission for the Beer Fest for the next few days due to a lack of capacity by the organisers to ensure security for the large number of people and the large presence of people under 18 who were at the festival.