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A crush at the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games in Madagascar kills at least 12

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ANTANANARIVO, Aug 26: A crush at a stadium in Madagascar left at least 12 people dead and 85
injured as sports fans attended the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games, authorities
said on Saturday.
Government spokesperson Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy said that 33 of the injured remained in the
HRJA Hospital.
The crush on Friday at the Mahamasina Stadium in the capital, Antananarivo, happened as people
gathered at an entrance for the official opening of the regional multi-sports event.
Madagascar Prime Minister Christian Ntsay said Friday that 11 people were in critical condition
following the crush, which happened at around 4.30 p.m. Ntsay visited victims at the hospital.
Spokesperson Rakotondrazafy did not give any update on those who were critically injured in her
statement posted on Facebook.
President Andry Rajoelina was at the ceremony at Mahamasina Stadium and asked the crowd to
observe a moment of silence. The opening ceremony went ahead.
The stadium, which is built to hold around 41,000 people, has been the site of deadly crushes
before. One person died and at least 37 were injured in a crush ahead of a qualifying game for the
African Cup of Nations soccer tournament between Madagascar and Senegal in 2018. In 2019, at
least 15 people died in a stampede at a music concert at the stadium.
The Indian Ocean Island Games is a multi-sports event featuring nations from the region. Athletes
from Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion and Seychelles also compete at the games,
which were first held in 1979.
Madagascar replaced original host the Maldives for this year’s edition, which is scheduled to run
from Aug. 25 to Sept. 3. (AP)

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