12:35 03 January 2013
Thousands of people who showed up at Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, in Abidjan, were jammed in a street early on Tuesday. At least 60 people have died and at least 200 were injured.
Reports confirm that some people were crushed while others were suffocated. Some reports also state that several victims are below 16 years old.
The event, which was organised to celebrate the end of the 2010 election conflict between former President Laurent Gbagbos and incumbent President Ouattara, is the reason why three days of national mourning was announced to the French colony.
There are different theories as to what caused the stampede and an investigation is underway.
According to some sources, the stampede had broken out after the fireworks event ended, and that it started near the stadium’s main entrance.
Another source said that the crush occurred when two streams of spectators coming from different directions crossed paths.
Meanwhile, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara described the deaths as a national tragedy. He said: “This is a real tragedy on this New Year's Day. We are all in shock.”
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