Ivory Coast Declares National Mourning Period After Stampede

Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013 03:30 AM

 

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara declared three days of national mourning after a stampede killed at least 60 people Tuesday in the commercial capital Abidjan.

 

Victims include 26 children, 28 women and six men, youth minister Alain Lobognon said.

The mourning period started Wednesday, Ivory Coast’s presidency said in an emailed statement. A stampede broke out early Tuesday following a New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Abidjan, killing 60 people and wounding 49, Interior minister Hamed Bakayoko said in an emailed statement.

The crush took place at 1 a.m. in Plateau, Abidjan’s business district, where people had gathered to celebrate the new year, Fiacre Kili, general director of the civil protection office, said in a telephone interview. The tragedy occurred after the fireworks display when people started to return home, Kili said.

“The President of the Republic offers his saddest condolences to the families and close relations of the victims and ensures them of his compassion in those painful circumstances,” the presidency’s statement said.

Ouattara has asked for an investigation to be carried out as soon as possible to “determine the circumstances and causes of the stampede,” according to the statement.

Healthcare for the wounded will be paid for by the state of Ivory Coast, according to the statement.

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