220125 Cameroon
General view of Cameroon fans inside the Yaounde Olembe Stadium in Cameroon. Image Credit: Reuters

Yaounde, Cameroon: Eight people were killed in a crush outside a Cameroon stadium in the capital Yaounde before an Africa Cup of Nations football match Monday night, according to a preliminary health ministry report obtained by AFP.

“Eight deaths were recorded, two women in their thirties, four men in their thirties, one child, one body taken away by the family,” the report said. State news had reported earlier that “half a dozen people died and dozens were injured”.

Images shared on social media, which could not immediately be authenticated, showed screaming fans being crushed at an entrance gate.

Continental football government body CAF said in a statement that it was aware of an incident at the stadium.

“CAF is currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired. We are in constant communication with Cameroon government and the Local Organizing Committee,” it said.

Following a low turnout in the first round games at brand new stadiums built for the continent’s premier men’s football tournament, Cameroon authorities have thrown open stadium gates, organised mass transport and given out free tickets to lure fans.

Cameroon beat 10-man Comoros Islands 2-1 in the game to advance to the quarter-finals.