Tragedy Strikes At AFCON

Supporters left hospitalized after stampede.

At least six people have died in a crush outside a stadium hosting an Africa Cup of Nations game in Cameroon, according to officials.


Naseri Paul Biya, governor of the central region of Cameroon, said there could be more casualties.


"We are not in position to give you the total number of casualties," he said.


The crush happened as crowds struggled to get access to Olembe Stadium in the Cameroon capital of Yaounde to watch the host country play Comoros Islands in a last-16 knockout game in Africa's top football tournament.


Witnesses at the stadium said children were among those caught up in the crush. The witnesses said it happened when stadium stewards closed the gates and stopped allowing people in.


Officials at the nearby Messassi hospital said they had received at least 40 injured people from the stampede.


Officials said about 50,000 people tried to attend the match. The stadium has a capacity of 60,000, but it was not meant to be more than 80% full for the game because of covid restrictions.


Video online appeared to show a rush of people at the games of the stadium.


Cameroon is hosting the African Cup for the first time in 50 years. It was meant to host the tournament in 2019, but the event was taken away that year and awarded to Egypt because of serious concerns with Cameroon's preparations, particularly the readiness of its stadiums.


Olembe Stadium was one of the venues that was under scrutiny.

Following a low turnout in the first round games at brand new stadiums built for the continent's premier tournament, Cameroon authorities had thrown open stadium gates, organized mass transport and given out free tickets to lure fans.


The tragic accident has overshadowed Cameroon's 2-1 win to reach the quarterfinal.

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