Cameroon had not just engaged Comoros in a fierce contest to scale through the Round of 16 at the ongoing AFCON tournament, the game was a bloody clash which claimed the lives of at least 6 home fans and left 50 critically injured following a stampede at the Olembe Stadium, Yaoundé, last night.
Prior to the kick-off, over 50,000 fans had made their way to the 60,000 capacity stadium. With regulations requesting 80 per cent attendance due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fans were desperate to take their chances in gaining entry to the stadium which led to the stampede and eventually claimed lives.
According to officials at the nearby Messassi hospital, at least 40 injured casualties were rushed down to them.
“Some of the injured are in desperate condition. We will have to evacuate them to a specialized hospital.” said Olinga Prudence, a nurse.
Reacting to the horrific incident, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has released a statement indicating their awareness of the incident.
“CAF is aware of the incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations fixture between hosts Cameroon and Comoros tonight, 24 January 2022.
“CAF is currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired. We are in constant communication with Cameroon government and the Local Organizing Committee.
“Tonight, the CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaoundé,” the statement read.
Monday’s incident came a day after another tragedy struck the capital at a night club. 16 people were reportedly dead in a fire incident on Sunday when Nigeria took on Tunisia, according to CNN.
According to the Cameroonian Ministry of Communication, explosion of fireworks had caused the ceiling at Liv Nightclub to catch fire, triggering strong explosion in the process.
The President of the host country, Paul Biya also called for thorough investigation into the stampede incident while sending his condolences to the family who lost their loved ones on account of the tragedy.