Mon, Oct 25, 2010 - Page 7 News List

Stampede at soccer match in Kenya kills seven and injures at least four

AP, NAIROBI

People gather around the scene of stampede at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Saturday. The stampede occurred as thousands of fans tried to get into a stadium to watch a soccer match between Kenya’s top two teams, according to police.

PHOTO: EPA

Seven fans died from a stampede while trying to get into a soccer match between two of Kenya’s most popular teams, the Kenya Red Cross said on Saturday.

Six people were killed when they were run over by the crowd outside Nyayo National Stadium, and one more died after being taken to Kenyatta National Hospital, Red Cross spokesman Titus Mungo’u said.

He said at least four people were injured, but that number could be higher since several ambulance services were called to the scene.

About halfway through the first half of the match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, a spectator ran onto the field to warn the referee that “people are being crushed to death,” the Kenya Premier League (KPL) Web site reported.

It was only then that the stadium crowd began to learn that ambulances were ferrying away bodies and the injured outside the stadium.

The match resumed after a break of 10 minutes and Gor -Mahia won 1-0.

Jack Oguda, chief executive officer of the KPL, said he couldn’t understand why fans couldn’t get in properly because the stadium wasn’t full.

“A gate was broken into by fans forcing their way into the stadium,” Oguda said. “Access was limited and they got agitated and that’s why they forced their way in.”

“We’ll start an inquiry into the matter to establish why fans could not access the stadium,” Oguda said.

“Management should ensure that gates are open on time to avoid a mad rush to the stadium during games of this magnitude,” Gor Mahia coach Zedekiah Otieno said.

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