At least 6 dead after Stadium crush unfolds in Cameroon

TEHRAN, Jan. 25 (MNA) – At least six people died following a stadium crush in Cameroon’s capital city of Yaounde on Monday.

The crush happened ahead of Cameroon’s round of 16 match against Comoros Islands in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON). Cameroon is the host nation for the tournament.

Six people have been confirmed dead, but according to Naseri Paul Biya, governor of the central region of Cameroon, there could be more, Sputnik reported. 

"We are not in a position to give you the total number of casualties," he earlier said.

According to witnesses, children were among the victims. The claim is that the crush happened when stadium stewards closed the gates to Olembe Stadium and stopped people from going in.

Graphic photos from the scene captured several individuals lying on the ground as others were being given first aid.

At least 40 people arrived at the Messassi hospital as a result of the crush. The situation is dire, according to nurse Olinga Prudence.

Cameroon had originally been slated to host AFCON in 2019, but concerns over their readiness and the safety of their stadiums caused the tournament to be moved to Egypt. One of the stadiums of concern was Olembe Stadium.

Cameroon authorities, following poor turnout for the opening round of matches, organized mass transportation and gave out free tickets to improve the atmosphere of matches.

An estimated 50,000 people attended the match at Olembe Stadium. Its max capacity is 60,000, but due to Covid restrictions, it could only be filled up to 80% capacity.

Cameroon is hosting AFCON for the first time in 50 years. In the years since they have won five AFCONs and qualified for the World Cup seven times, the most of any African nation.

Cameroon defeated the Comoros Islands by a score of 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals where they will face Gambia.

ZZ/PR

News Code 183259

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