A festive event took a tragic turn on Friday afternoon as a stampede outside the Madagascar National Stadium led to the loss of at least 12 lives and left around 80 people injured.
The unfortunate incident occurred just before the commencement of the 11th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG), a highly anticipated sports event in the region.
The stampede unfolded due to a surge of fans attempting to enter the stadium, resulting in a chaotic situation that caused falls, injuries, and fatalities at the entrance.
In response to the distressing event, President Andry Rajoelina asked those present inside the stadium to observe a minute of silence in honor of the victims.
Rajoelina stated, “The state is covering the medical costs of the injured, and on behalf of all the institutions, I offer my condolences to the families of the victims.”
The 11th edition of the IOIG began yesterday, featuring participation from teams representing Reunion, Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mayotte, and the Maldives. The event spans eight days of competition.
It’s important to note that this venue has experienced similar incidents in the past. In 2019, a comparable stampede led to the loss of 15 lives and injuries to 75 individuals. Additionally, a stampede during a soccer match between Madagascar and Senegal in September 2018 resulted in one fatality and 47 injuries.