KINSHASA, DRC (CelebrityAccess) — Eleven people, including two police officers, were killed during a crowd crush at the Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest sports stadium during a concert by Congolese singer Fally Ipupa on Saturday.
According to Al Jazeera, DRC Interior Minister Daniel Aselo Okito on Sunday blamed concert organizers for the incident at Martyrs’ Stadium, claiming the concert was well over the stadium’s 80,000 capacity.
Local police officials attributed the deaths to a stampede inside of the stadium, according to the official Congolese Press Agency ACP.
“It was a stampede,” a policeman on the scene told the ACP. “The music lovers suffocated.”
While it is unclear what prompted the stampede inside of the stadium, witnesses, including reporters from Reuters and ACP described a chaotic situation, stating that fans attempted to force their way into VIP and reserved sections.
Additionally, security forces had used tear gas earlier in the day in an attempt to disperse unruly crowds that gathered outside of the stadium earlier in the day.
The concert’s headliner Fally Ipupa told Reuters that he only heard about the deaths the day after the show.
“It pains me. I am from Kinshasa and of course I share in the grief of the families,” he told Reuters in an interview.
The 44-year-old Ipupa is one of Africa’s leading musicians and has gained an international following for his music.