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Two teenagers apparently were trampled to death and about...

By STEVE GREEN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Two teenagers apparently were trampled to death and about 30 youths were injured when a crowd tried to push its way into a Christmas party after a concert Saturday night, authorities said.

An 18-year-old girl died at General Hospital at Memorial Auditorium, and a 16-year-old girl was pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Hospital following the incident, which was reported to police shortly before midnight.

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Two other teenagers were treated at Vanderbilt, but their injuries were not serious, said hospital spokesman Doug Williams.

A teenager was in good condition at General Hospital and four more teenagers, whose conditions were not believed to be serious, were being treated at Baptist Hospital.

The exact number of injured was unknown. Police Capt. Bill Hamblin estimated 30 were hurt, though not all were hospitalized.

Hamblin said the youths apparently stampeded as they tried to make their way from the main auditorium to a party and dance downstairs sponsored by the promoters of a Christmas 'rap' festival that included the rap group 'Public Enemy Number One.'

Hamblin said the youngsters had been promised a chance to meet the group at a party to benefit the needy. Admission to the party was $1 and a can of food, he said.

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The names of the organizers of the event were not immediately known.

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Meador said when he arrived at the scene about 3,000 youths were throwing soft drink cans and candy at each other and fighting on the street in front of the auditorium. He said six ambulances and at least 15 police cruisers were called to the scene.

'A few individuals were on the ledge above the marquee throwing cans of food,' said Meador. 'They were standing on the roof, throwing cans of food down on the crowd. Everybody was running for cover at that point. I had to duck down behind a patrol car.'

'It was a stampede,' said Brady Gentry, 15, Nashville. 'We were trying to go to the party and it was so crowded I couldn't even move. One girl passed out and they were kicking her in the face. I got pushed around.'

Lamont Orr, a security guard for the rap group, said there were too many people trying to make their way down a ramp and through a narrow door to where the party was being held.

Orr estimated the number of people who attended the concert to be in the thousands.

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