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Uganda: Party organiser arrested after ten killed in mall crush

Screen grab from NTV report on party aftermath, Kampala, January 1st 2023. AP   -  
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AP Photo


Ugandan police said on Monday they had arrested one of the  organisers of a new year's eve party where ten revellers died in a crush.

Local media identified the man as music promoter Abbey Musinguzi of Abitex Promotions.

He is well known for organising major events in the capital Kampala; his party was in the popular Freedom City shopping mall in the city's Namasuba suburb.

Police initially said five people had died at the scene and four others died of their injuries at the hospital where they had been taken for treatment. 

The victims were among a crowd that packed into a small passageway to watch the fireworks display outside.

According to a police spokesman, Fred Enanga, the public found themselves in this bottleneck because the organisers of the evening had closed four other exit points. Investigators are trying to find out if the tragedy was caused by their "negligence," he added.

"We have arrested the promoter of this New Year's concert," he said adding we "are actively looking for other organisers and promoters" of the event."

“The public had only one entry and exit point. As a result, several victims found themselves trapped in this narrow passage,” he said.

These New Year celebrations in Uganda were the first in three years, after restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and security problems.

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