Eight people were killed and about 50 injured in a scrum outside a Cameroonian football stadium before an Africa Cup of Nations match on Monday.
Crowds tried to stop the Entering stadium through a southern entrance at Olembe Stadium in the capital Yaounde to watch the hosts’ game against Comoros.
Although the stadium’s capacity has been limited to 60,000 due to fears of the coronavirus, will raised the 60 percent cap to 80 percent in Cameroon.
“Eight deaths were recorded, two women in their 30s, four men in their 30s, one child, one body was found by family taken away,” said a preliminary Health Department report obtained by AFP.
The ministry said the victims were “immediately transported in ambulances” but “heavy road traffic slowed the transport.”
Approx R 50 people were injured in the crush, including two people with multiple injuries and two others with serious head injuries, the ministry said.
A baby was also reported The ministry added that the child was killed by the crowd was trampled on, although the child was “pulled out immediately and taken to Yaounde General Hospital” and is in a “medically stable” condition.
The tournament organizers had previously confirmed to AFP that there were victims was recorded without giving further details.
Africa Cup of Nations Organizing Committee spokesman Abel Mbengue told AFP: “There was a scrum, as can happen in a rush. We are awaiting reliable information on the number of casualties in this tragic incident.”
The African Football Confederation (CAF), which hosts the continent’s premier competition, said it was “studying the situation and trying to find out more details about what happened.”
In an online statement, the organization said it had sent its secretary-general to “visit supporters at the hospital in Yaounde”.
She added that she was in “constant communication with the Cameroonian government and local organizing committee”.
Cameroon’s Health Minister Manaouda Malachie tweeted pictures showing him visiting a hospital where those injured in the incident are being treated .
“Everything is being done to offer them free care and the best support,” he tweeted.
The CAF will open at 9:30am (0830GMT) on Tuesday morning exclusively dedicated “crisis meeting” with the organization Committee on security issues in the stadiums, a source close to the CAF told AFP.
Cameroon was supposed to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019. However, the event was moved to Egypt in January of the same year over concerns that Cameroon’s stadiums were not prepared for the games.
The CAF withdrew the tournament from the country, citing delays in stadium construction and infrastructure projects, as well as question marks over safety.
Overcrowding at football matches around the world has led to numerous deaths.
Thousands of fans in the Egyptian capital Cairo tried to build a stadium in 2015 to watch a game, which sparked panic when police fired tear gas and gunfire, resulting in 19 deaths.
In April 2001, 43 people died in a stampede at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium during a game between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
And in Guatemala in October 1996, during a World Cup qualifier between the host country and Costa Rica, 90 people were killed in a scrum crowded stadium.
On the pitch, Cameroon sealed its place i With a 2-1 win, they reached the round of 16 of the tournament and now play Gambia in the quarterfinals.
The team from the Comoros had qualified for the last 16 of the Nations in their first ever participation in the Cup.