At least eight people were killed, including a young girl Saturday in a stampede in a soccer stadium in the Senegalese capital Dakar during a match between two local teams, the sports minister said.
A fight broke out between fans of rivals US Ouakam and Stade de Mbour and police fired tear gas to break it up. The resulting confusion triggered the stampede, Sports Minister Matar Ba told Reuters by telephone.
Clouds of tear gas surrounded the fight, causing widespread panic to the side of the stadium, with soccer fans scrambling over walls to escape. Over 45 people were also hospitalized with a range of injuries.
"All of a sudden, the wall fell. We knew some of our own had lost their lives because the wall fell directly onto people," said Cheikh Maba Diop to AFP, a witness who helped evacuate victims from the stadium and lost a friend in the tragedy.
One AFP journalist attending the game stated the event was almost bursting at the seams with attendees arriving for the highly anticipated match between its local teams.
The spokesperson for President Macky Sall announced Sunday’s legislative electoral campaigning event would be postponed out of respect for the victims.