Dakar, July 16 : At least eight people were killed and over 45 others injured in a stampede and a subsequent wall collapse during a local league cup final in Senegal’s capital Dakar.
An AFP journalist who attended the match described a stadium full to bursting with people for the long-awaited clash between local teams US Ouakam and Stade de Mbour.
At 2-1 during extra time, US Ouakam supporters began throwing stones at Stade de Mbour fans, causing spectators to begin vacating their seats in a rush, the journalist said.
Part of a wall supporting bleachers seating fans from both sides then collapsed, while police had begun firing tear gas and panic spread in the stadium leading to a crush.
“All of a sudden when the wall fell… we knew exactly that some of our own had lost their lives because the wall fell directly onto people,” said Cheikh Maba Diop, a witness who helped evacuate victims from the stadium and lost a friend in the tragedy.
“What I find terrible is that we have this kind of final in this kind of stadium here where there isn’t enough security,” he said.
The police fired tear gas to control the situation.
Sports minister Matar Ba said a young girl was among the dead, while around 60 injured fans had been taken to health facilities in Dakar.
Such deadly accidents at football matches are not rare in Africa.
In April, a stampede in a match in Angola killed over 17 people and left hundreds injured.