Thieves used pepper spray to stoke panic and rob in stampede in Italy during UCL final

Italian authorities say gangs of thieves used pepper spray to stoke panic and rob people during a stampede that injured 1,500 as a crowd watched the 2017 Champions League final.

Hundreds of football fans had gathered at Piazza San Carlo in Turin to watch the showdown between Spanish club Real Madrid and Juventus on giant screens. The game ended 4-1 to Real.

During the second half of the game, cameras captured a sudden rush in the middle of the crowd when loud bangs, reportedly mistaken for a bomb, triggered a surge that flung people against barriers.

On Friday, Italian news agency ANSA reported that authorities have identified eight suspects using pepper spray to create panic and rob spectators as they feared for their lives.

Telephone intercepts for another investigation caught the suspects discussing a necklace worth several hundred euros that was stolen during the panic, AP reports. City officials were criticized in the wake of the stampede for not having effective safety measures in place.

READ MORE: Hundreds injured in Turin stampede after bomb scare during Champions League final (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Hundreds of shoes and bags were scattered on the ground as people ran out of the square searching for friends and relatives in the panic. One seven-year-old boy was reportedly seriously injured and taken to hospital.

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