ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST—A crowd stampeded after leaving a New Year’s fireworks show early Tuesday in Ivory Coast’s commercial centre, killing 61 people — many of them youths — and injuring more than 200, rescue workers said.
The death toll was expected to rise, the officials said.
Thousands had gathered at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan’s Plateau district to see the fireworks. After the show, the crowds poured onto the Boulevard de la Republic by the Hotel Tirama at about 1 a.m., said Col. Issa Sako of the fire department rescue team..
Mamadou Sanogo was searching for his nine-year-old son, Sayed.
“I have just seen all the bodies, but I cannot find my son,” said a tearful Sanogo. “I don’t know what to do.”
The government organized the fireworks to celebrate Ivory Coast’s peace, after several months of political violence in early 2011 following disputed elections. It was the second year that Abidjan had a New Year’s fireworks display.