The incident reportedly took place near the eastern coastal city of Ancona. According to local media, the stampede started after pepper spray was used inside the Lanterna Azzurra club.

The incident reportedly took place at around 01:00 (midnight GMT). The Repubblica newspaper reported that 118 people are in hospital with various injuries as a result of the incident. Ten were in critical condition.

"The cause may have been the dispersal of a stinging substance, the young people fled and trampled over each over. Sadly, six people died and dozens are injured," the local fire service said in a statement, as quoted by AFP.

Earlier, local police chief Oreste Capocasa said that about 35 people had been injured in the incident, including 12 in serious condition. Lives of some of those injured were in danger, he added.

The club was hosting a Sfera Ebbasta rap concert. The 26-year-old Milanese rapper recently rose to the top of the Italian charts with his 2016 self-titled album and his 2018 album Rockstar, which has gone triple-platinum this year.