One dead, 37 injured in stadium stampede

By AFP: Monday, September 10th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Madagascar's Mahamasina Municipal Stadium holds around 22,000 people [Courtesy]

At least one person was killed and 37 injured in a stampede at a football stadium in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo, a hospital official said yesterday.

“In all, there are 41 patients that entered the hospital including one dead on the spot and two in fairly precarious states,” Oliva Alison Rakoto, director of the Hrja Hospital, said.

“The two critically injured patients have head and thoracic trauma.” She said some of the injured have already been discharged.

The stampede occurred at the entrance to the venue just before kickoff between Madagascar and Senegal.

Witnesses said thousands of fans had been waiting outside Mahamasina Stadium since early in the morning, well ahead of the 2:30 pm (1130 GMT) kickoff.

At the hospital, 30-year-old Henintsoa Mialy Harizafy told AFP her uncle had left home around 8am to attend the 2019 Cup of Nations qualifying match. “We heard he was hospitalised here after being trampled in the stampede.”

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She added: “I don’t understand why only one entrance gate was open for such a big match.”

Another fan, Rivo Raberisaona, said his group had joined the queue at 6am. “We were a metre and a half (five feet) from the entrance when the stampede happened. I was trampled in the back, but my rucksack softened the blow.”