Independence Day stampede kills 8 in Malawi

Stampede occurs outside football stadium in capital Lilongwe, fatalities include children

Independence Day stampede kills 8 in Malawi

World Bulletin / News Desk

Independence Day celebrations in Malawi on Thursday were cut short after eight people were killed and 42 injured during a stampede outside a football stadium.

The stampede occurred at the Bingu Stadium in capital Lilongwe when people scrambled to get in to watch a football match, which was part of the celebrations planned for the day.

Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd of more than 1,000 people, according to Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), a local radio channel.

The fatalities include seven children, some as young as six years old.

Malawi marked 53 years of independence from British rule with thanksgiving prayers, where President Peter Mutharika and other top government officials were in attendance.

The prayers had to be stopped to observe a minute of silence to honor the dead.

Mutharika pledged that the government will support families affected by the tragedy.

“I offer my condolences to all those families affected by this incident. We are with you and the government will do all it can to assist you,” he said.

Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, spokesman of the Supreme Council of Ulama in Malawi, who was one of the prayer leaders, said that the deaths were a national tragedy.

“We are supposed to be celebrating today, but we will be mourning,” he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Temmuz 2017, 14:54