Eight killed in Gor vs AFC clash stampede but match goes on

Oct 24, 2010
  • Rescue operations at gate two.

  • Gate two that came down

Kenya’s struggling football was battered by yet another ill-wind-this time a tragedy in which at least eight fans who had turned up to watch a derby between fiercest of rivals died in a stampede.

In one of the most hyped games in recent times pitting perennial rivals AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia, the Kenya Premier league on saturday evening, the Kenyan football administration, its care less attitude, and inherent weaknesses were exposed as innocent lives were lost yet again.

An angry Prime Minister Raila Odinga immediately swung into action visited the injured at Kenyatta and Nairobi Hospital before he ordered through investigations.

Raila described the tragedy as a painful loss, which should have been avoided.

Reports indicate the fans as those of the Gor Mahia club.

What started as a peaceful encounter between bitter rivals was graced by a heavy down pour prompting fans who had streamed into the stadium to as early as midday to rush and take cover in the VIP stands to shield themselves from rains.

Trouble started as the kick off neared and fans rushed to queues outside main entrances in a bid to secure seats. Only two gates were opened for access prompting thousands to pile outside.

Five minutes to kick off, hundreds of fans queued outside gate two waving their tickets in their hands but the vetting was too slow.

Shoving and pushing ensued as muscular supporters demanded to be allowed in. In a few seconds, the steel gate was hurled down under pressure and a stampede ensued.

Kenyan policemen with batons and hounds who were manning the ill-fated gate two from within the stadium watched and without taking action withdrew as if nothing happened.

At this point hell broke loose. A young lady probably in her early 20’s was hurtled down as men and women trampled on her and in just two minutes it was chaos. It was free for all and survival for the fittest. Her attempt to pick up her lost pair of shoes cost her a dear life.

The game was hardly in 10th minute. The rains had stopped.

No first aid on site, fractures and multiple injuries as those in pain cried for mercy.

The stadium management allowed all manners of vehicles to park inside the stadium.

As well wishers touched by the tragedy tried to rescue the injured, they found themselves trapped in traffic grid lock.

Ambulances summoned to the stadium were unable to access the scene of the accident. Inside the stadium no public address was available even to call for order and allow police clear the way for emergency operations.

The match was temporarily interrupted. The only wise decision was to allow the match proceed because the news of the tragedy would have caused another panic.

When about four ambulances struggled their way into stadium, they were similarly trapped, with patients strapped on stretchers with nowhere to turn.

Some victims were rushed to the hospital with oxygen masks clutched to their mouths in a bid to resuscitate them.

An hour later the Stadia management were nowhere even to assist victims with basics like information and emergency care centre. It is time for action and for taking responsibilities.

On the pitch Gor Mahia won the ill-fated match 1-0.

Sportsnewsarena Team


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