A crush outside a Cameroonian football stadium killed eight people and wounded more at the African Cup of Nations match.
President Paul Biya of Cameroon has ordered an investigation into the tragedy that occurred Monday when fans sought to enter Olembe stadium in Yaounde to witness Cameroon play Comoros.
The stadium’s 60,000-seat capacity has been reduced due to the coronavirus epidemic, however when Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions play, the restriction is increased to 80%.
“Two women in their 30s, four men in their 30s, one kid, and one body carried away by the family were noted,” according to a preliminary health ministry report seen by AFP.
The casualties were “quickly transferred” in ambulances, according to the ministry, although “severe road traffic hampered the transit.”
According to a statement from Communications Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi, 38 persons were hurt in the crash, with seven of them critically injured.
Around 50 individuals were hurt, according to the health ministry, with two persons suffering multiple injuries and two others suffering significant head wounds.
According to the ministry, a baby was also trampled by the mob. The baby was “quickly evacuated and brought to Yaounde General Hospital, and is in “medically stable” condition. According to the statement.
According to the communications minister, President Biya has “directed the beginning of an investigation so that full light may be cast on this unfortunate tragedy.”
“There was a crush as may happen when there is a stampede, We are awaiting accurate information on the number of people killed or injured in this unfortunate tragedy.” Abel Mbengue spokeswoman for the Africa Cup of Nations organizing committee told AFP.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF), which oversees the continent’s premier tournament, said it was “investigating the matter and attempting to obtain additional facts about what occurred.”
The organization announced in an online statement that its secretary general had been dispatched to “see the supporters in hospital in Yaounde.”
It further stated that it was in “continuous touch with the government of Cameroon as well as the Local Organizing Committee.”
Manaouda Malachie, Cameroon’s health minister, tweeted photos of himself visiting a hospital treating people injured in the event.
“Everything is being done to provide them with free medical treatment and the greatest possible assistance,” he tweeted.
A source close to the CAF told AFP that the CAF will conduct a “crisis meeting” with the organizing committee on Tuesday, focusing solely on security problems at the stadiums.
“For the ultimate success of this major sports event,” Sadi stated, the government is “again appealing to Cameroonians’ sense of responsibility, discipline, and civic duty.”
The Africa Cup of Nations was supposed to be held in Cameroon in 2019, but it was moved to Egypt due to concerns that Cameroon’s stadiums were not ready for the games.
Delays in the construction of stadiums and infrastructural projects, as well as security concerns, were mentioned by the CAF.
Hundreds of people have died as a result of overcrowding at football events across the world.
Thousands of fans attempted to enter a stadium in Cairo, Egypt, to attend a game in 2015, causing panic as police fired tear gas and birdshot, killing 19 people.
In April 2001, a stampede at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park stadium killed 43 people during a match between the Orlando Pirates and the Kaizer Chiefs.
In Guatemala, 90 people were murdered in a crash during a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica in an overcrowded stadium in October 1996.
Cameroon clinched their position in the tournament’s last eight with a 2-1 victory on the field, and will now face The Gambia in the quarter-finals.
In their first participation in the Cup of Nations, Comoros have qualified for the last 16.