More than 17 people were killed with more injured during a stampede at an Angolan stadium.
On Friday, may Angolans crowded a stadium to watch a football match between Santa Rita de Cássia and Libolo. Having failed to gain entrance into the stadium, some pushed against the barriers, causing a stampede.
According to Ernesto Luis, the director general of the local hospital, “some people had to walk on top of other people. There were 76 casualties, of whom 17 died.” In a statement to Reuters, he added that five of the victims who sustained injuries were in dire conditions.
The stadium is an 8000 capacity stadium located in the northern city of Uige in Angola.
President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos has ordered security personnel to investigate the cause of the stampede at the stadium.
“I express my solidarity with the families of the deceased and have instructed the Provincial Government of Uige to provide all necessary assistance to the injured and have given guidance to the competent authorities to open an inquiry that will establish the cause of this serious incident,” President Dos Santos said in a statement on Friday.
Two commissions have been set up to investigate the cause of the stampede. One committee will probe the cause of the stampede while the other committee will be involved in helping families of the victims.
The president of Santa Rita de Cassia club blamed the police for lack of control of the crowd, stating that the incident could have been easily avoided.
“It is all the fault of the police. It was easy to avoid. They just need to extend the safety cordon,” Pedro Nzolonzi, the president of the Santa Rita de Cassia club, told Portuguese news agency, Lusa.
“There was serious police error in letting the people so close to the field … Many of them did not want to pay and those who had tickets could not get in. Then, the confusion began.”
The game between Santa Rita de Cássia and Libolo was part of Angola’s first division championship.