Skip to main content

Death toll from stampede at Angola stadium vigil rises

By CNN Staff
January 2, 2013 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
  • The number killed in a New Year's stampede in Angola climbs to 16
  • Three children were among those killed, state-run newspaper reports
  • Ivory Coast begins three days of national mourning for 60 people killed in a stampede
  • Most of those killed in Ivory Coast were women and children

(CNN) -- The death toll from a New Year's stampede during a church vigil at an Angolan stadium rose to 16 Wednesday, state media said, as details emerged of how the tragedy unfolded.

The deadly crush at the gates of the Cidadela Desportiva stadium, in Angola's capital, Luanda, came Monday evening as tens of thousands of people flocked to an event staged by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

Three children, aged three and four, were among the 16 people killed, according to state-run newspaper Jornal de Angola.

Angolan state news agency Angola Press reported 10 deaths in the stampede as of Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast is beginning three days of national mourning for at least 60 people crushed to death after they left a New Year's Eve fireworks display in the West African country's biggest city, Abidjan.

Read more: Ivory Coast mourns 60 killed in New Year's stampede

President Alassane Ouattara has ordered a speedy investigation into the circumstances and cause of the tragedy, his office said in a statement Tuesday night.

Ouattara went to the scene of the stampede, in Plateau, the city's central business district, Tuesday and has ordered the government to take care of the injured, his office said.

The dead in Abidjan included 26 children, 28 women and six men, Youth Minister Alain Lobognon said via Twitter. Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said 49 people were injured, two of them seriously.

In both incidents, many of the victims died as a result of being trampled or suffocated by the surging crowds.

In Luanda, the crisis came when many more people turned up for the vigil than the 70,000 who were expected by the organizers, according to Angola Press.

People had been arriving at the stadium since the morning, the Jornal de Angola reported Wednesday, leaving no space for those who arrived later in the day.

Witnesses said all the gates were open and that people could also watch the service on big screens placed outside, the newspaper reported.

However, anxiety led people to push through a set of the gates into the stadium, causing a stampede, it said.

Witnesses told the newspaper the situation was aggravated when bags of holy water by the gates burst in the confusion and created a dangerously slippery surface on the entrance slope.

The deaths occurred as a result of crushing and asphyxiation, Angola Press reported, quoting Angola's national firefighters' department spokesman Faustino Sebastiao. Another 120 people were injured, the news agency said.

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God was founded in Brazil in 1977 and has since expanded to more than 100 countries around the globe, according to its website. Its first church in Africa opened in Angola in 1992.

Watch: Angola's ghost town: A new town, with few residents

CNN's Laura Smith-Spark and Laura Perez Maestro contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.