Quantcast
Latest Stories

60 dead in New Year’s stampede in Ivory Coast

By

Ivory Coast First Lady Dominique Ouattara, center left, speaks with a person injured in a stampede as they are treated at a hospital in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Tuesday, Jan. 1 2013. At least 61 people were killed early Tuesday in a stampede following a New Year’s fireworks display in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial center, said officials. The death toll is expected to rise, according to rescue workers. AP/Emanuel Ekra

ABIDJAN – The Ivory Coast on Wednesday began three days of national mourning after a stampede among crowds gathered for celebratory New Year’s Eve fireworks in Abidjan left at least 60 dead and dozens injured.

An AFP journalist saw many injured children, while images broadcast by RTI television showed bodies stretched lifeless on the ground outside the city’s main stadium.

Piles of abandoned shoes and clothing could also be seen at the stadium, where soldiers and police were deployed, along with UN peacekeepers.

“This is a real tragedy on this New Year’s Day,” President Alassane Ouattara said at the scene.

“We are all in shock,” he added, announcing that three days of national mourning would be held starting Wednesday.

The government said 60 people had died, with an average age of 18. Earlier, the head of military rescue workers, Lieutenant Colonel Issa Sako, told journalists that 61 had died.

“Forty-nine wounded were evacuated” by rescue workers, Sako said, adding that other injured victims had gone to hospital on their own. Another rescue official said at least 200 people had been wounded in all.

Sako said the flow of people at the stadium had caused a “very large crush” and that “in the crush, people were walked over and suffocated by the crowd”.

Officials said around 50,000 people had gathered for the fireworks.

Witnesses said the stampede had broken out after the fireworks ended, though the cause remains unclear. It erupted near the stadium’s main entrance, where security had set up tree trunks as crowd control barriers.

According to a police source, the crush occurred when two streams of spectators going in opposite directions crossed paths.

A security source added that rescue services “took some time to arrive”.

Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said the “exact circumstances” of the tragedy are “under investigation by the security services”.

Visibly shaken children were among the roughly 40 wounded taken to a hospital in the wealthy neighbourhood of Cocody, in the north of the economic capital.

A mother named Zeinab who had taken two of her children to the stadium found one of them in the hospital, a small boy who lay on a bed in a groggy state.

Zeinab said she “hurt all over” and showed a journalist the scratches on her body.

“I don’t know what happened but I found myself lying on the ground with people stepping on me, pulling my hair or tearing my clothes,” she said.

She said she had been knocked unconscious and that a young man had pulled her from the crowd.

The New Year’s fireworks, the city’s second in two years, had been touted as a symbol of national renewal under Ouattara after a violent post-election crisis that tore the country apart from December 2010 to April 2011, killing some 3,000 people.

The unrest began after Ouattara’s long-time rival and former iron-fisted ruler Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down.

He was later arrested by forces loyal to Ouattara, with UN and French military backing, and transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he is accused of crimes against humanity.

Though the troubled west African nation — the world’s top cocoa producer — is still recovering from the political and military crisis, Ouattara had struck a note of optimism in a New Year’s message on Monday evening.

He said the former French colony had “possibilities like seldom before” ahead of it, promising it would soon reap the rewards of economic growth and development.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement