Thirteen killed in Benin concert stampede

 

At least 13 people died in a stadium stampede shortly before a concert by a popular Congolese singer in Benin's main city Cotonou, police sources and medical officials said.

"When the gates opened, there was a rush to get in. The terraces quickly filled up, but more people kept coming. That's when the tragedy happened," said a ticket salesman at the stadium who only gave his name as Max.

Several spectators fainted, others were crushed by the crowd and suffocated to death.

A doctor at the Hubert Maga Medical Centre which treated some of the victims, said 13 people had died and 12 more were injured.

Olomide, one of Africa's biggest music stars, told Benin's state television today that security at the stadium could have been better organised.

His manager, Magloire Agbale, said the gates had opened late for the concert due to an earlier sports event hosted at the same stadium.

"We hadn't even finished setting up the stage and the sound system, and the crowd was already there," he said.

AFP