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Sierra Leone News: Sierra Leone police open probe into inauguration stampede

Police in Sierra Leone opened an investigation into the stampede at the national stadium during the weekend inauguration of the new president in which one woman was killed and over 90 people were injured.
Some arrests have been made but no one has been charged so far, a police statement said.
Sierra Leone Red Cross Society spokesperson, Abu-Bakr Tarawally, on Monday, updated the number of injured to 90 following Saturday’s crush at Freetown’s main stadium.
“We can confirm that 90 people were injured at the stadium stampede on inauguration day, some suffered, fractures, injuries with severe bleeding and suffocation,” he said.
According to stadium management, over 50,000 people attended the inauguration, far exceeding the stadium capacity of 45,000.
“Some fainted and collapsed at pavilions while others jumped to the pitch and suffered fractures.”
The deceased is a 50-year-old woman who travelled from Bo to witness Julius Maada Bio being sworn in.
Thousands had patiently queued up since morning to enter the stadium but then Bio’s supporters tried to force their way through passages earmarked for cars of invited guests, sparking a police charge and a stampede.
“I can only confirm one dead but more people are injured,” a police official said, speaking at the ceremony which drew guests like former football legend and current Liberian President George Weah and the leaders of Senegal, Guinea and Togo. SB/15/5/18
By Saidu Bah
Wednesday May 16, 2018.

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