Deadly crush at Cameroon’s defeat of brave Comoros

Deadly crush at Cameroon’s defeat of brave Comoros
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At least eight people are reported to have been killed and dozens hurt in a crush at the Olembe Stadium where hosts Cameroon beat Comoros in ans  Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 match.

It is the first time tragedy was recorded at a stadium in the 64-year hostory of the competition.

According to a BBC report, video footage showed football fans struggling to get access to the Paul Biya stadium in Olembe, a neighbourhood of the capital Yaounde.

One child is among the dead, according to a health ministry report obtained by the AFP news agency.

Another report said a number of children had lost consciousness.

The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but because of Covid restrictions it was not meant to be more than 80% full.

Match officials were quoted as saying that some 50,000 people were trying to attend.

Journalist Leocadia Bongben was at the game. She told the BBC’s Newsday programme that she saw commotion coming from one of the “fan zone” areas outside the stadium.

“People started shouting. A minute after that an ambulance came to the stadium, but when we got to the place the police would not allow us to get close to where the stampede was,” she said.

She had received a list of eight people who lost their lives, she said.

“It’s really quite a sad situation that people go to watch a game and they end up dying there.”

Nick Cavell, a producer for BBC Africa, was at the match and said that news of the crush did not seem to filter through to the crowd until there were reports on social media.

Lots of discarded shoes and other debris was strewn around the entrance of the stadium, he said.

Nurse Olinga Prudence told AP that some of the injured were in a “desperate condition”.

The Confederation of African Football, CAF said in a statement that it is “currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired”.

The last 16 match between Cameroon and Comoros took place despite the incident and ended with a 2-1 win for the hosts.

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