2 January 2013

Cote d'Ivoire: Cause of Deadly Stampede Still Unclear

Cape Town — President Alassane Ouattara has declared three days of national mourning for the victims of the tragedy in which 61 people died early on New Year's Day in Abidjan.

Radio France Internationale reports that Ouattara has also announced an investigation into the cause of the disaster.

More than 50,000 people had gone to watch a fireworks display in the Plateau district of the capital, said RFI, many of them family groups.

As the crowd left the area of the Houphouet-Boigny Stadium at about 2am, something caused a stampede. Many were trampled underfoot in the crush, and many of those who died were children.

The reason for the stampede is disputed. Families were separated in the panic, and parents were still looking for missing children the evening after the tragedy.

Adapted and translated from the original French. See full report on our French site

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