LNTUP

Eight dead in Senegal football stadium disaster

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Eight people have died and at least 49 are injured after a wall collapsed at a football stadium in Senegal.

It happened at Demba Diop stadium in the capital, Dakar, at the end of the League Cup final between Stade de Mbour and Union Sportive Ouakam.

Fighting started between rival fans and police responded by using tear gas, which led to panic, a stampede, and the wall collapse.Some fans were throwing projectiles including stones at others.

Matar Ba vowed:

“Strong measures will be so that such an event will never be repeated in Senegal.”

A mass deployment of firefighters and ambulances remained at the scene late Saturday. 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.

Cheikh Maba Diop, whose friend died in the incident and who helped move people out of the stadium, told AFP news agency:

“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 on to people.”

A spokesman for the country’s President Macky Sall said that campaigning for upcoming elections would be suspended on Sunday as a mark of respect and that there should be “punishments serving as a warning”.