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Abidjan New Year crush: at least 60 people dead and more than 200 injured


At least sixty people have been crushed to death and more than 200 injured during New Year festivities in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan, officials say.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday near a stadium in the central Plateau area of the city where a fireworks display was held.

The cause of the stampede is not yet clear. It occurred as people were heading home after the event.

Most of the dead are believed to be children aged between eight and 15.

The death toll is expected to rise.

The crush happened near the entrance to the stadium after the fireworks ended at about 02:00 local time.

According to some reports, thousands of people were trying to leave the stadium at the same time as another large crowd was trying to get in.

“In the crush, people were walked over and suffocated by the crowd,” Lt. Col. Issa Sako, head of the military rescue effort, told public television.

At least 60 people have been crushed to death and more than 200 injured during New Year festivities in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan

At least 60 people have been crushed to death and more than 200 injured during New Year festivities in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan

The site is littered with abandoned clothes and blood stains.

Relatives have gone there to get news of missing loved ones.

The distraught mother of a 9-year-old boy told local media: “I have just seen all those bodies, but I can’t find my son.”

The 65,000-capacity Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium was named after the founding president of Ivory Coast.

The fireworks event had been organized to celebrate the recently re-established peace.

The night before the tragedy, the stadium hosted a concert by Chris Brown.

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.