100 Dead in Ghana Soccer Stampede
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) _ A stampede at a packed soccer match between two of Ghana’s leading teams killed at least 100 people Wednesday night, hospital officials said.
Ambulances raced through the streets of this seaside capital more than an hour after the stampede, and radio stations were broadcasting appeals for all doctors to report to work to help treat the injured.
Hometown team Accra Heart of Oak was leading 2-1 against Assante Kotoko with five minutes left when Assante supporters began throwing bottles and chairs onto the field, witnesses said.
Police responded by firing tear gas, creating panic in the stands as spectators rushed to escape the gas, witnesses said.
The injured were rushed to surrounding hospitals. An official at Ghana’s military hospital No. 37, where many of the casualties had were taken, said on condition of anonymity that at least 100 people had been killed and many more injured.
The hallways of the hospital were crowded with bleeding, injured people, as relatives frantically searched for loved ones.
``It is a great national tragedy,″ said Minister of Presidential Affairs Jake Obetsebi-Amptey, who visited the hospital. ``Many people have died and many more are wounded and are bleeding.″
He urged relatives to return home, saying they were crowding the hospital and creating problems.
``What is important now is to remain calm ... It is a night for us to mourn and not a night to worsen an already bad situation with anger and impatience.″
This was the fourth soccer disaster in Africa during the past month. Forty-three people were killed April 11 at a stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Another stampede April 29 killed eight people in Lubumbashi, Congo. And on May 6, fighting broke out among fans at a soccer match in Ivory Coast, killing one person and injuring 39.