Crush at Madagascar’s national stadium kills 13



At least 13 people, including seven children, were killed in a crowd crush on Friday at a stadium in Madagascar’s capital of Antananarivo.

The crowd crush occurred at the entrance to the Barea stadium, where about 50,000 spectators had arrived to attend the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games.

“So far, 13 people have been killed and 107 injured,” opposition MP Hanitra Razafimanantsoa said.

The Red Cross, which sent teams to the scene of the incident, added: “We don’t yet have the final list. Seven minors died.”

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina, who was present at the opening ceremony, called for a minute’s silence.

“A tragic event occurred because there was pushing. There were injuries and deaths at the entrance,” he said in a televised speech.

TV images showed dazed and shocked people trying to locate their shoes piled among the objects lost in the crush. Other images from inside the stadium, shared on social media, showed the stands packed with spectators.

Prime Minister Christian Ntsay visited a hospital in Antananarivo where victims were taken.

The cause of the tragedy was not immediately known.

The Indian Ocean Island Games are a multidisciplinary competition that will be held in Madagascar until September 3.

They have been staged every four years in different islands in the south-west Indian Ocean for about 40 years. The previous event took place in Mauritius.

The Barea stadium, the largest on the island, suffered a similar disaster in 2019, when at least 16 people were killed and dozens injured during a concert marking the country’s national holiday. 

(The National News)


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