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Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Sunday, 24 October 2010 15:16 UK

Kenyan PM orders stampede inquiry

Police investigators survey the scene at the Nyayo National Stadium
At least seven fans died in the Nyayo National Stadium stampede on Saturday

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has ordered an immediate investigation into a stampede at a Nairobi football match where at least seven people died.

Visiting the injured in hospital, Mr Odinga said that both the police and the football authorities would be involved in investigating the tragedy.

Seven fans died from a stampede while trying to get into a league match at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

Nearly 20 others are fighting for their life in hospital after the incident.

According to the Red Cross, the incident happened at the stadium which was hosting a match between two of the country's most popular teams: Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

Red Cross spokesman Titus Mung'ou said six people died when they were run over by the crowd outside the stadium.

Another fan died at the Kenyatta National Hospital after being taken there for treatment for his injuries.

"Our emergency rescue teams are on the ground and they have been able to confirm the deaths of six people whose bodies have been found outside the stadium. They are five males and a female," Mung'ou said.

"We are also confirming that another person has succumbed to injuries at the Kenyatta National Hospital," he added.

The match between perennial rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards ended in a 1-0 defeat for the Leopards.

Kenyan Primer Minister Raila Odinga (centre)
Raila Odinga comforts a stampede victim at the Kenyatta hospital

Nairobi deputy police chief Moses Nyakwama said: "Twelve people have been rushed to hospital with critical injuries."

The match between bitter rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards generated huge interest but the stadium was not packed to capacity during the game.

Jack Oguda, CEO of the Kenya Premier League, said he couldn't understand why fans couldn't get in properly because the stadium wasn't full.

"A gate was broken into by fans forcing their way into the stadium. Access was limited and they got agitated and that's why they forced their way in." Oguda said.

"We'll start an inquiry into the matter to establish why fans could not access the stadium."

Zedekiah Otieno, the coach of Gor Mahia, said the safety of the fans should be paramount.

"Management should ensure that gates are open on time to avoid a mad rush to the stadium during games of this magnitude," Otieno said.

In 2005, at least one person was trampled to death during a World Cup qualifier between Kenya and Morocco at the 35,000-capacity Nyayo National Stadium, leading to a two-year Fifa ban.

The stadium was eventually limited to 25,000 people.

Hundreds of fans have died during riots and stampedes at football games across Africa over the last decade.

Correspondents say poorly-equipped security forces are often unable to control the crowds.



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see also
Kenya football crush kills seven
24 Oct 10 |  Africa
Timeline: Most deadly stampedes
04 Mar 10 |  South Asia
Ivorian stadium stampede kills 22
29 Mar 09 |  Africa
Kenyan official to explain fatality
19 Jun 05 |  African


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