UK & World News
Angola Stampede: 16 Killed At New Year Vigil
At least 16 people, including four children, have been killed in a stampede during a religious gathering at a stadium in the Angolan capital.
Angop, the Angolan news agency, cited officials as saying that 120 people were hurt in the crush in the southern African nation's capital, Luanda.
It came as Ivory Coast, in western Africa, began three days of national mourning after a stampede among crowds gathered for New Year's Eve fireworks left at least 60 people dead and hundreds injured.
The deadly crush in Angola also happened on New Year's Eve, when panic spread amongst the tens of thousands of people gathered at the stadium for the evangelical vigil.
Paulo Gaspar de Almeida, deputy commander-general of the Angolan police, said the victims were killed "due to asphyxia, shoving and trampling of faithful at the entrance of Cidadela stadium".
The event was organised by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, an evangelical group founded in Brazil in 1977.
"We were expecting 70,000 people but far more turned up," Ferner Batalha, a bishop of the church, was quoted as saying.
The Ivory Coast government said 60 people had died in the crush in Abidjan and the average age of those killed was 18.
Earlier, the head of military rescue workers, Lieutenant Colonel Issa Sako, told journalists that 61 had died.
Witnesses said the stampede had broken out after the fireworks ended, though the cause remained unclear.
It erupted near the stadium's main entrance, where security had set up tree trunks as crowd control barriers.
Two survivors, who were in hospital, said some barricades that were set up unofficially created the crush.
They said that after the fireworks display people were prevented from moving along the Boulevard de la Republic by the wooden barricades.
According to a police source, the crush occurred when two streams of spectators going in opposite directions crossed paths.
Lieutenant Colonel Sako said the flow of people at the stadium had caused a "very large crush" and that "in the crush, people were walked over and suffocated by the crowd".
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has ordered an immediate investigation into the causes of the stampede.
He said the government would open a crisis centre to help families find missing people and to take testimony from witnesses.
After the crush, piles of abandoned shoes and clothing were scattered near the stadium, where around 50,000 people had gathered for the fireworks.
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