A New Years Eve celebration turns deadly for 60 young people in West Africa.
It is not clear what triggered the stampede that has left 60 dead and 40 injured in Ivory Coast, West Africa early Tuesday morning. According to CNN, Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said,
The tragedy happened as hundreds of people were trying to go back home after the fireworks display ended in Plateau, the city’s central business district … The crush was near a stadium … The proper security measures were in place during the fireworks show … Nearly 5,000 extra personnel were deployed to ensure people’s security, most of them in the Plateau area.
Of the 60 dead 26 were children, 28 women, and 6 men. Many of whom were trampled on or suffocated by the surging crowd. Reportedly most of the victims were young people who had left their elders at home to join in the New Year’s Eve celebration.
This year’s celebration was seen by many to symbolize the nation’s return to peace after months of violence following the disputed presidential elections in November of 2010. The violence came about when the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing to his opponent Alassane Ouattara. Although Gbagbo was arrested 5 months later the nation of about 22 million has been in turmoil ever since.