Updates on the Cameroon Stampede, which claimed the lives of eight people.
Yaoundé, Cameroon – A crush outside a Cameroonian football stadium on Monday killed eight people and injured many more before of an Africa Cup of Nations match.
Crowds attempted to access Olembe stadium in Yaounde’s city through a southern entrance to watch the host nation play Comoros.
The stadium’s capacity of 60,000 has been capped due to coronavirus fears, however when Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions play, the 60 percent maximum is boosted to 80 percent.
According to a preliminary health ministry report received by AFP, “eight deaths were registered, two women in their thirties, four men in their thirties, one child, and one body taken away by the family.”
The victims were “quickly transferred” in ambulances, according to the ministry, although “severe road traffic hampered the transit.”
There had been “a half-dozen deaths and scores of injuries,” according to state news, but the ministry had no more details on the number of those hospitalized.
According to the government, a newborn was also trampled by the throng, but the child was “quickly evacuated and transferred to Yaounde General Hospital” and is in “medically stable” condition.
The tournament’s organizers had previously confirmed to AFP that casualties had been reported but did not provide any additional information.
Abel Mbengue, a spokesperson for the Africa Cup of Nations organizing committee, told AFP: “When there is a stampede, there is always a crush. We are awaiting accurate information on the number of people killed or injured in this unfortunate incident “..
The Confederation of African Football, which oversees the continent’s premier tournament, said it was “investigating the incident and attempting to obtain further details on what transpired.”
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 communication 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 those injured in the incident.
“Everything is being done to provide them with free medical care and the best possible assistance,” he tweeted.
Cameroon was meant to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019. However, due to worries that Cameroon’s stadiums would not be ready for the games, the event was moved to Egypt in January of that year.
The CAF disqualified the country from the event, citing delays in stadium and infrastructure building, as well as security concerns.
Hundreds of people have died as a result of overcrowding at football matches around 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 killed in a crush during a World Cup qualification match between Guatemala and Costa Rica in an overcrowded stadium in October 1996.
Cameroon sealed 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, the Comoros had qualified for the last 16.