Abidjan: At least 60 people died and dozens more were injured in Abidjan as crowds stampeded overnight during celebratory New Year's fireworks, Ivory Coast rescue workers said on Tuesday.
The head of military rescue workers, Lieutenant Colonel Issa Sako, told public television that ‘60 people’ died and 200 were injured based on a preliminary toll. Another rescue official told AFP the toll was ‘61 dead and 48 injured’.
The rescue official said the injured had been taken to hospitals in Abidjan. An AFP journalist saw many injured children.
The flow of people coming to the entrance of the city's main stadium to watch the fireworks caused a ‘very large crush’, Sako said. "In the crush, people were walked over and suffocated by the crowd."
Images broadcast by RTI television showed bodies stretched lifeless on the ground. Piles of abandoned shoes and clothing could also be seen at the stadium, where soldiers and police were deployed.