Six People Dead Following Stampede at Africa Cup of Nations

Photo via Agence France-Presse

At least six people are reported dead following a stampede after a football game in Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations. 

People were attempting to watch Cameroon host Comoros in the continental tournament at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde. 

Regional governor, Naseri Paul Biya, said there could be more casualties in the coming days. There are currently 40 injured from the stampede with several in critical condition. 

Officials said the nearby hospital will not be capable of treating all injured persons. They said those who cannot be treated in Yaounde will be transported to a specialized hospital.  

Officials said about 50,000 people had tried to attend the match.

The stadium has a capacity of 60,000 but it was not meant to be more than 80% full due to COVID restrictions.

Witnesses to the event said the stampede occurred when stadium staff closed the gates of the venue and stopped allowing people inside. 

Cameroon was supposed to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019, but it was awarded to Egypt after concerns about safety and preparedness. Olembe Stadium was one of the venues under scrutiny at that time. 

By Ben Rappaport