22 Nov 2023

Stampede at Republic of Congo stadium kills 37

6:20 am on 22 November 2023
Unexplained death in Taita, Lower Hutt early on Sunday 26th January 2020.  A Police cordon and crime scene invetsigation tent were in place Monday 27th January 2020.

Photo: RNZ / Patrice Allen

At least 37 people were killed and numerous others injured at a stadium in the Republic of Congo's capital Brazzaville overnight, the government said on Tuesday, with local media reporting a stampede during an army recruitment drive.

The government said the "tragedy" occurred at the Ornano stadium on Monday night, without giving further details. Images shared on social media showed dozens of injured young men sprawled over the floor of a basketball court.

Local media said the stampede was triggered by young men seeking to submit their applications to join the army, an important employer in the country where little of its oil riches have trickled down to the population.

Male unemployment runs at over 20 percent, according to International Labour Organisation figures.

In August a stampede of sports fans trying to enter Madagascar's national stadium for the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games killed 12 and injured around 80.

- Reuters