Deadly stampede at title-deciding football match in DR Congo sees at least 15 killed and dozens injured after police fire tear gas
Police fired tear gas into heavily overcrowded stadium in capital of Kinshasa
A title-deciding football match in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s top league has ended in tragedy after a crowd stampede killed at least 15 spectators and left dozens more injured.
The championship play-off match between AS Vita and TP Mazembe had to be abandoned in the 93rd minute after police fired tear gas into the stands.
In the ensuing chaos a stadium wall collapsed and a gate was broken down as fans, blinded by the gas, tried to escape.
According to reports from a local radio station, the match was due to be televised until a van belonging to the Congolese national TV station TRNC was pelted with stones, and similarly unruly scenes were reported from within the ground.
Emmanuel Akweti, a local minister for the area in the country’s capital Kinshasa, said that four police officers were being “harassed” by supporters. “When they fired tear gas, the stampede began, causing the deaths,” he said.
Government statements put the death toll at 15, all of suffocation, and said 24 were injured – but an unnamed police source was quoted as saying at least 18 had died.
Images from the stadium, which has a maximum capacity of 30,000, posted on the TP Mazembe Facebook page appeared to show extreme overcrowding, with spectators climbing up camera rigging stands and flags.
Images posted to the TP Mazembe Facebook page from before the match appeared to show heavy overcrowding at the 30,000 capacity stadium The club, which was playing away, said on its website that it had been winning the game 1-0 when it was abandoned late on and celebrated winning the championship.
It said that the game had been interrupted around the 75th minute due to fans “stoning” players and officials, and that the final disturbance occurred as Mazembe prepared to take a corner. It reportedly took over half an hour to get the players, staff and officials off the pitch safely.
The incident, at the highest level of Congolese football, comes in the backdrop of a number of recent deadly stampedes at public events.
Last month at least 21 people were killed when what was believed to be a power cut caused a stampede at a crowded music festival. Officials at the time blamed the incident on “a rush due to the enthusiasm of the audience”.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Thailand beach murders: Hannah Witheridge 'was raped by two men before being killed'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...