NEWS: Cameroon
Deadly stampede at the Olembé stadium during the Cameroon-Comoros match.

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Covid restric­tions meant that not every­one who want­ed to attend was able to enter the sta­di­um
At least eight peo­ple are believed to have been killed and dozens injured in a crash out­side an Africa Cup of Nations match in Cameroon.

Video footage shows foot­ball fans strug­gling to access the Paul Biya sta­di­um in a dis­trict of the cap­i­tal Yaoundé.

A child is among the dead, accord­ing to a health min­istry report obtained by the AFP news agency.

Anoth­er report indi­cat­ed that a num­ber of chil­dren had lost consciousness.

The sta­di­um has a capac­i­ty of 60,000, but due to Covid restric­tions it was not sup­posed to be more than 80% full.

Match offi­cials report­ed­ly said some 50,000 peo­ple were try­ing to attend.

Jour­nal­ist Leo­ca­dia Bong­ben was at the game. She told the BBC’s News­day pro­gram that she saw com­mo­tion com­ing from one of the “fan zone” areas out­side the stadium.

“Peo­ple start­ed shout­ing. A minute lat­er an ambu­lance arrived at the sta­di­um, but when we got to the place, the police did­n’t allow us to get close to where the stam­pede was tak­ing place,” she said.

She had received a list of eight peo­ple who lost their lives, she said.

“It’s real­ly a pret­ty sad sit­u­a­tion that peo­ple go and watch a game and they end up dying there.”

Nick Cavell, a BBC Africa pro­duc­er, was present at the match and said news of the crush did not seem to fil­ter through the crowd until there were reports on social media.

Many dis­card­ed shoes and oth­er debris were strewn around the entrance to the sta­di­um, he said.

Nurse Olin­ga Pru­dence told AP that some of the injured were in “des­per­ate condition”.

The Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball, CAF, said in a state­ment that it was “cur­rent­ly inves­ti­gat­ing the sit­u­a­tion and try­ing to obtain more details on what happened”.

The last game of the round of 16 of the day between Cameroon and Comoros went ahead despite the inci­dent and end­ed in a 2–1 vic­to­ry for the host team.

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