The year 2013 brought a pall of gloom on the people of Ivory Coast as 61 people were killed in a stampede on New Year's Eve. Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara has declared a three-day national holiday to mourn the death of the victims and the incident, which he quoted as a 'national tragedy.'
THE INCIDENT took place after people had assembled in the stadium of Abidjan to look at the fireworks arranged on New Year's Eve. Two hundred people were injured while 61 lost their lives. The people who were crushed were in the age group of 8-15 years. This was the second firework display organized in the West African nation after the country recovered from a blood civil war in 2011, reported Zee News.
A police Commissioner, who was present at the time of the calamity, described the moment the incident happened. “Once we arrived at the stadium, there was no light and there were tree trunks all over the place. The people opposite started chanting and that is how it broke out and because of the tree trunks, it turned into a stampede.”
Desperate parents were running to the city morgue to ascertain the fate of their child who were unaccounted for after the incident. Many a mother were seen crying in ambulances, and the stampede site was seen strewn with clothes and litter.