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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 May, 2003, 19:22 GMT 20:22 UK
Benin concert stampede kills 15

Police in Benin are investigating reports that a pop concert went ahead despite the deaths of at least 15 fans from crushing.

The incident happened before the Congolese musician Kofi Olomide was due to appear at the Friendship Stadium in Benin's main city Cotonou.

The crush was caused by the capacity crowd surging forward to be closer to the musician, said one source.

A BBC correspondent says local police were not informed of the deaths - possibly because organisers feared the highly publicised concert might be cancelled.

After Saturday's event, Mr Olomide told a local radio station he was not made aware of the incident when he arrived at midnight for his performance.

He said everything appeared normal and he had gone ahead with the concert.

A source at Hubert Maga hospital in Cotonou told the French news agency AFP that "overexcited spectators were involved in jostling at the entrance - several of them were trampled in the crush".

Twelve people are also said to have been injured in the crushing.




SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Benin
25 Apr 03  |  Country profiles



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