Thursday, 6 July 2017

Serious Tragedy Hits Malawi As 8 People, Including Children Die In Football Stadium Stampede (Photos)

 
 
Eight people, including seven children, have died in a stampede ahead of a football match in Malawi on Thursday. Dozens more were injured in the crush at Lilongwe's Bingu national stadium. The stampede reportedly happened as thousands of people tried to find seats ahead of a friendly between top sides Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers. 
 
President Peter Mutharika has offered his condolences and said the government will do all it can to assist the families of the bereaved.
 
He said he was shocked to learn of the tragedy.

“Doctors have confirmed that eight people have died while 62 others have suffered multiple injuries,’’ police spokesperson James Kadadzera said on Thursday.
 
It was gathered that gates at the 40,000-capacity stadium were supposed to open at 06:30 local time (04:30GMT) to allow free entry of people, but there was a delay of about three hours. 
 
However, thousands had already turned up, and some tried to force their way in, prompting the police to fire tear gas.
 
Inspector General of Police, Lexan Kachama told Reuters news agency he expected the number of casualties to rise.
 
The football match was being held as part of events to mark the 53rd anniversary of Malawi's independence from British colonial rule. 
 
The southern African country gained independence from Britain on July 6, 1964.
 
The celebrations started on Wednesday with military parades.
 
In spite of having one of the worst-performing national football teams in the region, local games in Malawi pull in tens of thousands of fans.

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