At least 12 killed in Madagascar stadium stampede

Some 80 others were injured as fans tried to enter the country’s national stadium for the Indian Ocean Island Games.

Madagascar's Prime Minister Christian Ntsay said 11 of the injured were in critical condition [File: Clarel Faniry Rasoanaivo/Reuters]

At least 12 people have been killed and 80 injured after a stampede of sport fans trying to enter Madagascar’s national stadium for the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games.

The stampede occurred at the entrance to the Barea stadium on Friday where a crowd of about 50,000 spectators had arrived to attend the event.

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

The Indian Ocean Island Games are a multi-disciplinary competition being held in Madagascar through September 3.

They were created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1977, and include athletes from Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion and the Maldives.

Madagascar President 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.

Source: News Agencies