Tragedy in Madagascar: 12 deaths reported during the opening ceremony of the island games.
Prime Minister Christian Ntsay of Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo has confirmed that a tragic incident occurred during the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games at Mahamasina stadium, resulting in the loss of at least 12 lives due to a stampede.
Additionally, around 80 individuals sustained injuries in the unfortunate crowd crush.
An official from the Red Cross, Antsa Mirado, mentioned the presence of a large crowd at the entrance, contributed to the situation. President Andry Rajoelina, who was present at the stadium, described the event as tragic and called for a moment of silence.
The Mahamasina stadium, with a nearly 41,000-person capacity, was reportedly filled with spectators. Video footage captures the aftermath, depicting injured individuals disoriented on the ground, while others are being carried away from the scene.
Established in 1977, the Indian Ocean Island Games is a quadrennial multi-sport event involving the island nations and territories of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, the Maldives, and Réunion.
In 2018, one person died and nearly 40 others were injured in a crush at the Mahamasina before the start of a Madagascar-Senegal football match.
In 2016, two people were killed and about 80 injured in a grenade explosion at the same venue during Madagascar’s National Day celebrations. The blast happened during a free concert.
Two years earlier, a grenade explosion killed a toddler and injured several other people outside the same stadium.