News24

Stampede report blames poor security

2013-01-06 12:03

Abidjan - The investigation into a stampede that killed 63 people during New Year celebrations in Abidjan blames an insufficient security deployment as well as a number of anomalies near the scene of the tragedy, an official said on Saturday.

The main causes were "insufficient security forces" as well as the presence of a construction site fence that made the street narrower and caused a bottleneck when crowds dispersed after the fireworks display, Abidjan prosecutor Simplice Kouadio Koffi said.

The streets were inadequately lit and one pavement was blocked by tree trunks, he also said in a statement read on public television, adding that he would take legal action against the suspects.

He said several members of the local administration and fire department had been questioned over the tragedy, after which three days of national mourning were declared by President Alassane Ouattara.

The opposition party of ousted former president Laurent Gbagbo has called for Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko to resign.