AFCON tragedy: Six dead, 40 injured in stampede at Olembe Stadium

Victims of the stampede outside Olembe Stadium in Yaounde Cameroon

Victims of the stampede outside Olembe Stadium in Yaounde Cameroon

No fewer than six people died Monday in a stampede outside of Olembe stadium in Cameroon ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations match between Cameroon and Comoros Island.

Naseri Paul Biya, governor of the central region of Cameroon, added that there could be more casualties.

Multiple supporters have reportedly been hospitalised too, with images on social media showing fans breaking through gates of the stadium in Yaounde.

Ebaneck Desmond
Ebaneck Desmond among those crushed to death in the stampede

One of the dead victims was identified in a Facebook post. He was Ebaneck Desmond.

News outlet LSI Africa reported that those injured have been transported to the nearby Messassi Hospital.

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Officials at the nearby hospital said they had received at least 40 injured people from the stampede.

‘Some of the injured are in desperate condition,’ said Olinga Prudence, a nurse. ‘We will have to evacuate them to a specialised hospital.’

Officials said around 50,000 people had tried to attend the match.

The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but it was not meant to be more than 80 per cent full – a capacity of 48,000 – for the game due to restrictions on the size of the crowd because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the incident, the match did kick-off on time as Cameroon beat Comoros 2-1 to seal their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

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