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Eight Dead in Senegal Stadium Wall Collapse After Police Fire Tear Gas

The incident took place in Senegal's capital, Dakar, after the League Cup final between Union Sportive Ouakam and Stade de Mbour.

by Liam Daniel Pierce
Jul 16 2017, 5:43pm

Still from Walf TV / AFP

A wall collapsed at a Senegalese soccer stadium on Saturday amidst a crush of fans, killing eight and injuring at least 60 people, according to the Agence France-Presse.

The tragedy occurred after fans of rival clubs Stade de Mbour and Union Sportive Ouakam clashed after the final whistle of the League Cup final in Dakar. The match was tied at 1-1 until the 90th minute, when Mbour scored, prompting angry fans to start hurling stones. Police fired off tear gas into the crowds, inciting a huge rush to one end of the stands—the immense pressure eventually snapped the wall off the front of the structure.

Video from the horrifying scene shows a thick swarm of people and a sudden break, causing dozens of people and thick slabs of concrete to cascade over what appears to be a six foot drop. According to the Independent, a young girl was counted among the dead.

Here's a close-up of the wall's damage:

From the BBC:

Cheikh Maba Diop, whose friend died in the incident and who helped move people out of the stadium, told AFP news agency: "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."

Senegal has suspended all sporting and cultural events in the wake of the tragedy in Dakar, in hopes of quelling public displays of unrest amidst a contentious nationwide election set to take place on July 30. Dakar's mayor Khalifa Sall is currently campaigning for legislative elections from jail.

Senegal president Macky Sall's coalition suspended their campaigns out of respect for the victims. Sall wrote on Twitter (as translated from French) that he was, "Outraged by the incidents at the Demba Diop Stadium. The light will be cast on this tragedy. Those responsible will be identified and sanctioned."