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Eight dead, fifty injured in stampede at Cameroon AFCON match

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Eight dead, fifty injured in stampede at Cameroon AFCON match
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Yaounde, Cameroon: At least eight people died and about 50 injured in a crush outside a stadium hosting a game at Africa's top football tournament in Cameroon's capital Yaounde on Monday, a local government official said.

"Eight deaths were recorded, two women in their thirties, four men in their thirties, one child, one body taken away by the family," according to a preliminary health ministry report obtained by AFP.

The ministry said victims were "immediately transported" in ambulances, but "heavy road traffic slowed down the transport".

Some 50 people were injured in the crush, including two people with multiple injuries and two more with serious head wounds, the ministry said.

A baby was also reportedly trampled by the crowd, the ministry added, although the infant was "immediately extracted and taken to Yaounde General Hospital" and is in a "medically stable" condition.

As per reports, crowds attempted to enter through a southern entrance at Olembe stadium in the capital Yaounde to watch the host nation play Comoros.

Although the stadium's capacity of 60,000 has been limited over coronavirus fears, the 60 percent cap is raised to 80 percent when Cameroon's Indomitable Lions play.

Tournament organisers had earlier confirmed to AFP that casualties had been recorded without providing further details.

Africa Cup of Nations organising committee spokesperson Abel Mbengue told AFP: "There was a crush as can happen when there is a stampede. We are waiting for reliable information on the number of casualties in this tragic incident".

The Confederation of African Football (CAF), which runs the continent's flagship competition, said it was "investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired".

In a statement online, the organisation said it had sent its secretary general to "visit the supporters in hospital in Yaounde".

It added it was in "constant communication with Cameroon government and the Local Organizing Committee".

Cameroon's health minister Manaouda Malachie tweeted images showing him visiting a hospital treating those hurt in the incident.

"Everything is done to give them free care and the best support," he tweeted.

The CAF will hold a "crisis meeting" with the organising committee on Tuesday morning at 9:30am (0830 GMT), dedicated exclusively to security issues in the stadiums, a source close to CAF told AFP.

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TAGS:Afcon match Cameroon 
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