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60 injured in stampede at Australian music festival

An aerial view shoes festival goers at the Lorne, Victoria leg of the Falls Music And Art Festival, December 30, 2016
Facebook/Falls Music and Arts Festival
At least 19 people hospitalized with broken bones and other serious injuries

At least 60 people were injured in a "human stampede" at an Australian music festival, police said on Saturday.

None of the injuries at the Victoria leg of the Falls Music and Arts Festival were life-threatening, but 19 people were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, Victoria police said in a statement.

The crowd crush began when festival goers at the front of a large crowd leaving a DMA's performance en route to watch UK act London Grammar lost their footing, according to police and festival organizers.

Attendees speaking to Australia's 9NEWS blamed the small entrance and exit gates at the venue for the crush

"They were tiny, considering the amount of people," one witness said. "They were about two meters wide, it just didn’t work."

According to the festival's Facebook page, the gates to the viewing area have now been widened as a safety measure and normal programming has resumed at the venue.

In a haunting Facebook post, festival-goer Sophie Baldock described how people were "screaming for their lives" as guests were trampled by the masses.

"I thought people next to me were dead," she wrote. "My shoes were torn off, covered in other people's blood.

Ambulance Victoria State Health Commander Paul Holman said paramedics and ambulances were on site, and worked with first aid providers to tend to more than 60 people injured in the crush.

"Injuries included leg, rib, hip and pelvic fractures, possible spinal injuries, head and facial injuries, cuts and abrasions," Holman told 9NEWS.

"It was quite a chaotic scene and required a major response,” he added.

Angry relatives meanwhile took to the festival's Facebook page to criticize poor cellphone reception at the festival, which made it impossible for people to contact their families.

Sexual assault

Tasmania state police meanwhile said that extra security measures had been put in place after at least three young women complained of being sexually assaulted at the Marion Bay, Tasmania site of the festival.

"Extra security measures have been put in place for the moshpit area as a result of these incidents," police said in a statement.

"If you become isolated and feel unsafe at any time, go straight to the nearest police officer, security guard and talk to them".

The Falls Music and Arts Festival is currently being held in its 24th year and this year takes place on the New Year's Eve weekend at three different locations across Australia, with a fourth location being visited in early January.


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