Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Dance like nobody's watching!

Read more

DEBATE

Burundi's Brutal Standoff: One month on tension spirals (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Burundi's Brutal Standoff: One month on tension spirals (part 1)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Masoud Barzani: 'We are prepared to recover Mosul very quickly'

Read more

FOCUS

Lebanon marks one year without a president

Read more

REPORTERS

A year after coup, Thai opposition resists junta rule

Read more

REPORTERS

Are there lessons to be learned from Chirac’s foreign policy?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Novak Djokovic: 'I have grown'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

At least three dead in grenade attack in Bujumbura

Read more

Africa

DR Congo football fans killed in stadium stampede

© Photo: AFP archive

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-12

At least 15 people were killed and dozens more injured when police fired tear gas amid violent clashes at a football match in Kinshasa on Sunday, provoking a stampede and causing a stadium wall to collapse, officials said.

Fans grew angry after their local team was defeated 1-0 by a team from the eastern town of Lubumbashi in a heated final, Emmanuel Akweti, local minister for the capital's inner city, told Reuters.

"Four policemen were harassed by supporters. When they fired tear gas, the stampede began, causing the deaths," he said.

Akweti said 15 people died of suffocation and 24 were injured. A police source who declined to be named put the death toll higher, at 18.

A Reuters witness counted 14 bodies lying on benches outside the main hospital in Kinshasa, the capital.

Images on a local television station showed plumes of smoke rising from the stadium's bleachers. Supporters, blinded by the gas, ran in different directions, sometimes falling over, the footage showed.

UN-created Radio Okapi said that supporters “began hurling projectiles onto the pitch, forcing the referee to stop the match repeatedly”.

Police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd, there was a stampede in the stands "and in this confusion a stadium wall collapsed," Radio Okapi reported.

Repeated trouble

An enquiry was launched into the disaster "to identify those responsible," said Kimbuta.

The match was an important play-off between popular teams ASV Club, of Kinshasa, and Tout Puissant Mazembe. 

Multiple champions TP Mazembe are based in Lubumbashi in the south-east of the country and are linked to businessman Moise Katumbi, governor of the rich mining province of Katanga, of which Lubumbashi is the capital.

Before the match dozens of police officers were deployed around the Tata Raphael stadium, following trouble at previous matches between the two sides.

Stampedes are a frequent occurrence at crowded events in Congo. Last month at least 21 people were killed when a power cut caused a stampede at a crowded music festival.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-05-12

COMMENT(S)