A deadly New Year stampede has left at least 61 people dead in Ivory Coast’s commercial center after crowds tried to leave a fireworks show.
The people had gathered at Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan’s Plateau district to see a fireworks display, and, as the crowds exited at about 1 am, the exodus turned into a deadly stampede.
“The flood of people leaving the stadium became a stampede which led to the deaths of more than 60 and injured more than 200,” Col. Issa Sako of the fire department rescue team told Ivory Coast state TV.
Officials said most of the people killed in the deadly New Year stampede appear to be between 8 and 15 years old, and parents seeking their missing children have flooded the city morgue.
The scenes from the deadly New Year stampede were shocking, Fox News noted:
“State TV showed traumatic scenes: a woman sobbed in the back of an ambulance; another was bent over on the side of the street, apparently in pain; and another, barely conscious and wearing only a bra on her upper body, was hoisted up by rescuers.
“There were also scenes of small children being treated in a hospital; one boy grimaced in pain and a girl with colored braids in her hair lay under a blanket, with one hand bandaged.”
President Alassane Ouattara and his wife visited some of those hospitalized in the deadly New Year stampede, and he has pledged that the government will pay for their treatment, CBC reported. The fireworks display was organized by the government to celebrate peace in Ivory Coast after months of violence after disputed elections in 2011.