Eight dead after wall collapses at Senegalese football stadium

Eight people have been killed and almost 90 injured after a wall collapsed at the Demba Diop stadium in Senegal on Saturday.

A stampede, which eventually caused the wall to fall, began after a fight kicked off between rival fans of Stade de Mbour and Union Sportive Oukam, to which the police responded by using tear gas.

Home fans reportedly threw stones and other objects at people, while many pictures show fans scrambling over a low wall engulfed in a cloud of gas.

The AFP news agency reported that sports minister Matar Ba said a young girl was among the dead.

He said “strong measures (would be implemented) so that such an event will never be repeated in Senegal,” speaking to the AFP by phone.

The country has suspended all sporting and cultural events for the remainder of July, while the president of the Senegalese league, Saer Seck, defended the security forces on duty during the incident.

ESPN reported that Seck said: “On the security side, we took all precautions initially in separating the two groups of supporters to neutralise them.

“We hired agents of the security forces in their numbers, and now there were fights and a collapse.”

“(It’s) a great sadness for all of Senegalese football,” Seck added.

“I present my condolences to the families of all of the victims that we were unable to revive. This is not my conception of football.”

Cheikh Maba Diop, whose friend died in the incident and who helped move people out of the stadium, told AFP: “All of a sudden when the wall fell… we knew exactly that some of our own had lost their lives because the wall fell directly on to people.”

BBC Africa’s James Copnall said that the stadium itself was in need of repairs and that a government enquiry will look into the causes.

Image: GDJ