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Many killed in stampede at Angola soccer stadium

At least 17 people have died in a stampede at a football match in the northern city of Uige in Angola, located some 250 kilometers from the capital, Luanda. Dozens more were reported injured in the incident.

A medical official told the Reuters news agency that hundreds of supporters had stormed the stadium gates in Uige before the start of a match, resulting in many being trampled. The crowd trying to gain access to the stadium is reported to have surpassed its 8,000 capacity.

Ernesto Luis, director general of the local hospital, told Reuters that people had suffocated in the crush.

"Some people had to walk on top of other people. There were 76 casualties, of whom 17 died," he said. Five of the injured remained in a serious condition, he added. The Portuguese news agency Lusa meanwhile said that children were among the dead.

The match between the Santa Rita de Cassia and Libolo teams was part of Angola's first division championship.

'Layers' of victims

Joao Silva, 37, who survived the crush with a broken foot, said that he found himself on top of two further layers of people getting trampled.

Domingos Vika, 35, who had his hand broken, said: "When they gave the opportunity for everyone to come in, we were all packed at the gate already."

Police and football officials were not immediately available for comment. Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has reportedly instructed authorities to open an investigation.

ss/gsw (Reuters, AP)

 

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