A stampede in Lilongwe’s Bingu national stadium in Malawi has claimed eight lives including seven children. The stampede happened before kickoff in a game between Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers.
Thousands of people had rushed into the stadium and tried to secure seats before the game commenced, scores of football fans were also injured and taken to hospital.
Despite the deaths, the match went on as planned. President Peter Mutharika was to be in attendance but failed to make it.
He however, offered his condolences to the families of the deceased and said the government would support them in any way possible.
Inspector General of Police Lexan Kachama told Reuters news agency he expected the number of casualties to rise.
The football match was being held as part of events to mark the 53rd anniversary of Malawi’s independence from British colonial rule.
When the match did go ahead, Nyasa Big Bullets won 2-1.