Madagascar stadium crush claims 12, 80 hurt



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12 people killed in stadium in Madagascar Image: Barea Stadium, Barea - Présidence de la république de Madagascar, CC BY-SA 4.0

At least 12 people have been killed and 80 injured after a stampede occurred of sport fans trying to enter Madagascar’s (an island country lying off the southeastern coast of Africa) national stadium for the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games.

‘ALJAZEERA’ stated that the stampede occurred at the entrance to the Barea Stadium on August 25th where a crowd of about 50,000 spectators had arrived to attend the event.

The 41,000-capacity Kianja Barea Mahamasina is a rugby union and football stadium, also used for concerts and athletics, in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

The Indian Ocean Island Games is a quadrennial multisport event from the Indian Ocean island nations. The Games was created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1977 and currently gather the island nations and territories of Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion, and the Maldives.

The 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games kicked off in Madagascar from August 25th and will continue till September 3rd.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a non-governmental sports organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is constituted in the form of an association under the Swiss Civil Code.

‘ALJAZEERA’ further stated that Madagascar’s Prime Minister Christian Ntsay told reporters at a hospital in Antananarivo, “The provisional toll shows 12 dead and some 80 injured.”

The President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina, who was present at the opening ceremony, called for a minute of silence.

“A tragic event occurred because there was pushing. There were injuries and deaths at the entrance,” he said in a televised speech.

TV broadcast showed dazed and shocked people trying to locate their shoes piled amongst objects lost in the deadly crush.

Other images from inside the stadium, shared on social media, showed the stands packed with spectators.

At least 15 people were killed in a similar incident at the Mahamasina stadium in 2019.

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