60 perish in New Year's Eve stampede

ABIDJAN - A New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Ivory Coast turned from celebration to tragedy when 60 people most of them women and children were crushed to death in a stampede, officials said.

Interior minister Hamed Bakayoko said another 40 people were injured.

State media reports suggested that between 100 and 200 people had been hurt in the incident in Abidjan, the country’s largest city and former capital.

The dead included 26 children of between eight to 15, 28 women and six men, said minister of Youth Alain Lobognon, via his official Twitter feed.

Bakayoko said the tragedy happened as hundreds of people were trying to go back home after the fireworks display ended in Plateau, the city’s central business district.

Many of the victims were trampled on or suffocated by the surging crowd, a senior fire official told national television.

Rescue workers were at the scene two hours later but could not save the victims, the AIP news agency said.

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