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At least 12 dead in Madagascar stadium stampede – PM

At least 12 dead in Madagascar stadium stampede - prime minister
Source: Video Screenshot

At least 12 people were killed Friday in a crowd stampede at a stadium in the Madagascar capital of Antananarivo, the prime minister of the Indian Ocean nation Christian Ntsay said.

“The provisional toll shows 12 dead and some 80 injured,” Ntsay told reporters at a hospital in Antananarivo where the victims were taken.

The stampede occurred at the entrance to the Barea stadium where a crowd of around 50,000 spectators had arrived to attend the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games.

The cause of the tragedy was not immediately known but the Red Cross said the toll could climb.

“There were a lot of people at the entrance, which triggered a stampede,” Antsa Mirado, a communications manager with the Red Cross, told AFP.

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina, who was present at the opening ceremony, called for a minute’s silence.

“A tragic event occurred because there was pushing. There were injuries and deaths at the entrance,” he said in a televised speech.

TV images broadcast images of 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.

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

They have been staged every four years in different islands in the south-west Indian Ocean for around 40 years. The previous edition took place in Mauritius.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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