YAOUNDE, Cameron (CelebrityAccess) — At least eight people, including two boys, aged eight and 14, have been killed and 38 injured in an apparent crowd surge at an Africa Cup of Nations football match in Cameroon on Tuesday.
The crowd surge took place at Paul Biya Stadium, in Cameron’s capital Yaoundé, which was hosting its first Africa Nations Cup match in 50 years, generating significant interest among local football fans.
However, 30 minutes before the game started, just one of the venue’s gates was open, the BBC reported. Congestion at the entry was further compounded by fans without tickets in the crowd trying to gain access.
Images posted to social media show fans climbing over fences and barriers, pushing past checkpoints, while others try to aid and resuscitate injured fans.
“People started shouting,” journalist, Leocadia Bongben, who witnessed the surge, told the BBC. “A minute after that an ambulance came to the stadium, but when we got to the place the police would not allow us to get close to where the stampede was.
“It’s really quite a sad situation that people go to watch a game and they end up dying there.”
On Tuesday, FIFA released a statement addressing the tragedy: “FIFA sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following the tragic incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the Africa Cup of Nations fixture between Cameroon and Comoros.”
“The thoughts and prayers of the global football community are with the victims, the ones who have been injured in this incident, and all the staff of both CAF and the Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT) at this difficult moment.”