Sunday 17 December 2017

Eight killed in stampede at independence day football match in Malawi

President Peter Mutharika, right, meets injured children in Lilongwe (AP)
President Peter Mutharika, right, meets injured children in Lilongwe (AP)
Malawi celebrates its independence from Britain on July 6

A crowd has stampeded at a Malawi football stadium during independence day celebrations, killing eight people and injuring more than 40 others, most of them children.

The disaster happened at Bingu National Stadium in the capital Lilongwe ahead of a football match between two local teams.

The dead included children aged between five and 12, according to the Daily Times, a newspaper in the southern African country.

It said the stampede happened when police used tear gas to disperse a crowd pushing into the stadium during commemorations of independence from Britain on July 6 1964.

Ambulances, police cars and other vehicles rushed the injured to a hospital, where friends and family members gathered to check on the victims.

The stampede occurred as a stadium gate was being opened, reported The Nation, another Malawian newspaper.

It described a chaotic scene at Kamuzu Central Hospital, where medics treated children in the emergency section and some victims were lying on the floor because all the beds were occupied.

Most of the injured were under 10 and had been looking forward to the match, which was to be free for spectators, according to The Nation.

AP

Press Association

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