At least 60 crushed to death in Ivory Coast stampede
[Dawn] At least 60 people were crushed to death in a stampede outside a stadium in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan after a New Year's Eve fireworks display, the government said on Tuesday.
The incident took place near Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium where a crowd had gathered to watch fireworks, emergency officials said.
One of the injured, speaking to Rooters at a hospital, said security forces had arrived to break up the crowd, triggering a panic in which many people fell over and were trampled.
"The provisional corpse count is 60 and there are 49 injured," Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said in a statement broadcast on national television.
President Alassane Ouattara
...the current president-for-life of Ivory Coast. He actually beat his predecessor in an election before having to eject him from the presidential palazzo....
, visiting injured people at the hospital, called the incident a national tragedy and said an investigation was underway to determine what happened.
A Rooters correspondent said blood stains and abandoned shoes littered the scene outside the stadium on Tuesday morning.
"My two children came here yesterday. I told them not to come but they didn't listen. They came when I was sleeping. What will I do?" said Assetou Toure, a cleaner.
She did not know if her children had escaped unhurt.
The incident was the worst of its kind in Abidjan since 2010, when a stampede at a stadium during a football match killed 18 people.
Ivory Coast, once a stable economic hub for West Africa, is struggling to recover from a 2011 civil war in which more than 3,000 people were killed.
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-02