ABIDJAN (AFP) – At least 60 people died and at least dozens were injured in Abidjan as crowds stampeded overnight during celebratory New Year’s fireworks, Ivory Coast rescue workers said Tuesday.
The head of military rescue workers, Lieutenant Colonel Issa Sako, told public television that “60 people” died and 200 were injured based on a preliminary toll. Another rescue official said told AFP the toll is “61 dead and 48 injured.”
The flow of people coming to the entrance of the city’s main stadium to watch the fireworks caused a “very large crush”, Sako said. “In the crush, people were walked over and suffocated by the crowd.”
Images broadcast by RTI television showed bodies stretched lifeless on the ground. Piles of abandoned shoes and clothing could also be seen at the stadium, where soldiers and police were deployed.