Lessons must be learned from Italian nightclub tragedy

Our readers have their say on Saudi Arabia, driving, bicycle sharing and crowd protection

A view of the rear entrance of the disco 'Lanterna Azzurra' in Corinaldo, central Italy, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. Italian police say a stampede at a rap concert in an overcrowded disco killed five young teenagers early Saturday along with a woman who had brought her daughter to the event. Fifty-three others were injured at the disco in central Italy where Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta was to perform. Authorities said organizers had apparently sold too many tickets. Police say 13 of the injured are in serious condition. (Pasquale Bove/ANSA via AP)
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I write in reference to your article Italy nightclub stampede kills six and injures more than 50 (December 9): The National's coverage of the stampede in the Italian nightclub was sad to read. Among the ­casualties were three girls, two boys and one woman, police have revealed. The cause of the incident might have been the use of pepper spray by someone inside the club, creating panic which caused a stampede. But this has not been confirmed yet. We also do not know why one emergency exit had been blocked, which exacerbated the tragedy.

This incident has rightly attracted global attention; several nightclubs across the world have also witnessed similar incidents while hosting major concerts. Precautionary measures are clearly needed to ensure they do not happen again, and safety should be the main priority. I trust Italian authorities will look into the causes of this awful event and take steps to address it. In the meantime, I pray for the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the many who were injured.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Errant drivers in Saudi Arabia ignore rules of the road

I refer to your article Saudi Arabia's road traffic deaths five times higher than UAE (December 9): this is exactly what happens when one drives with little regard for other road users. The UAE has clamped down on errant drivers and the implementation of road safety rules has been judicious and strict. I hope that lives might be saved by clamping down on rogue drivers in Saudi Arabia who behave as if they are flying an F-35 fighter jet on the roads.

Name withheld by request

Bicycle sharing could be the future of travel in cities

I write in reference to your article Frustrated commuters turn to car, bike and scooter hire to beat the traffic (December 8), in China alone, dozens of bicycle-sharing companies have begun operations in the last two years. One, called Ofo, started in 2014 and is already valued at well over $3 billion.

Wajahat Bashir, UAE