NEWS: Cameroon
16 dead and 8 seriously injured in a fire in a nightclub in Yaoundé.

At least 16 peo­ple have been killed in a fire at a pop­u­lar night­club in Cameroon’s cap­i­tal Yaoundé, the gov­ern­ment has announced.

The fire was caused by fire­works used in the club, he added.

The fire engulfed the main hall of Liv’s Night Club in the upscale Bas­tos dis­trict, which is home to embassies and diplo­mats’ res­i­dences. Author­i­ties said the fire spread to a loca­tion where cook­ing gas was stored.

“We are still at the lev­el of inves­ti­ga­tions to know the names and nation­al­i­ties of the dead and injured,” gov­ern­ment spokesman René Emmanuel Sadi said on Sunday.

“The dra­ma, which was caused by the explo­sions of the fire­works often used in these places, first con­sumed the ceil­ing of the build­ing, result­ing in two very loud explo­sions, caus­ing pan­ic and a stam­pede,” the min­istry said. of Communications.

“There were loud explo­sions of six gas cylin­ders, caus­ing pan­ic in the neigh­bor­hood.” said the gov­ern­ment state­ment, adding that eight oth­er peo­ple were injured and trans­port­ed to the cen­tral hos­pi­tal in Yaoundé.

A secu­ri­ty offi­cer present at the time of the fire said “it hap­pened very quickly”.

“It was a lit­tle after 2 a.m. and most cus­tomers arrive around 3 a.m.…there are a lot of casu­al­ties,” the secu­ri­ty guard said.

The inci­dent comes as the coun­try wel­comes thou­sands of foot­ball play­ers, sup­port­ers and ref­er­ees from across the con­ti­nent for the month-long Africa Cup of Nations foot­ball tournament.

In a state­ment, Cameroon­ian Pres­i­dent Paul Biya called for calm and assured CAN play­ers and sup­port­ers of their safety.

The cham­pi­onship, with teams from 24 coun­tries, was orig­i­nal­ly sched­uled for 2021 but was lat­er post­poned due to the coro­n­avirus pandemic.

In response to a pres­i­den­tial direc­tive, the munic­i­pal police opened an investigation.

A hun­dred peo­ple gath­ered on Sun­day in front of the morgue of the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal in the Ekounou dis­trict of Yaoundé, in the hope of hear­ing from relatives.

“I have no infor­ma­tion. I woke up this morn­ing and they told me my 38-year-old son was dead,” said one woman, who went by the name Fidèle.

“I was expect­ing my broth­er and his friends last night, but they did­n’t arrive. And around 7am, I got a lot of phone calls ask­ing me if my broth­er was dead or alive. So I came to the morgue and iden­ti­fied his body,” says Claude, Fidèle’s daughter.

“I lost my lit­tle broth­er,” said Stéphane Hamza, 38.

“He was a good and kind lad who had been work­ing at this club for about two months. When I heard about the explo­sion I came to the morgue where I was told he was dead.

In Douala, the eco­nom­ic cap­i­tal of the south of the coun­try, at least five night­clubs have been par­tial­ly or com­plete­ly burnt down in acci­den­tal fires over the past six years.

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