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Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 14:20 UK

Eyewitness: Ivory Coast stampede

Police carry an injured person at Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan on 29 March 2009
The floor was covered in the bodies of the injured and dead

A stampede at a football stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast has left 19 people dead and 130 injured.

Ousmane, an engineer, from Abidjan, was caught up in the stampede with his friends and their children.

He described the scenes to BBC News.


A group of us, we went together to see the match. We had tickets for the game, and we had children with us.

When we arrived at the stadium, there were lots of people - more people than there were places.

They tried to force entry. That's when the policemen arrived with tear gas.

In the panic, there were lots of people running in every direction.

I was very afraid.

The gas was in my eyes. It was difficult, painful.

There were a lot of people afraid - running everywhere.

Some people fell down and they were crushed.

Some children died because they didn't have anywhere to run.

I saw people on the ground - injured people, waiting for doctors.

There were a lot of people on the floor, waiting to go to hospital. The ambulances were not enough.

No control

It was bad organisation.

Supporters carry an injured person on at Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan on 29 March 2009
There were a lot of people afraid - running everywhere. Some died because they didn't have anywhere to run.

We saw the policemen and the football federation... we saw these men take money from people to let them enter the stadium - people who did not have tickets.

And the people who did have tickets, they cannot enter.

This is why the situation arose, I think. The people who have tickets were outside.

We had tickets, but after what happened, we took our children and went back home.

Nobody in the stadium could have known what was happening. It all happened outside.

After what I saw, I can't imagine going to another match in Ivory Coast, in this situation. I would be very afraid to go again.

The authorities need to find a good way to control people.



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