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Kenya: four dead in stampede before public holiday celebrations

Kenya: four dead in stampede before public holiday celebrations
Kenyan security forces intervene during a stampede at the entrance of the Moi International   -  
Copyright © africanews
TONY KARUMBA/AFP or licensors


Four women died in a late-night stampede on Friday outside a stadium in Kericho, western Kenya, where President William Ruto presided over "Heroes' Day" celebrations a few hours later, police said.

The incident occurred at around 03:00 local time (00:00 GMT) when a woman selling tea outside the Kericho Green Stadium accidentally spilled some on a fire, causing a stampede as a large crowd waited to enter the stadium for the festivities scheduled for the morning.

"Several people (...) were injured and taken to the Kericho County referral hospital (...) In the said hospital, four unidentified women were confirmed dead", said a police report consulted by AFP.

The number of people injured was not specified.

"There was a stampede caused by a lady selling tea outside the stadium who accidentally spilt hot tea into a fire near gate C along the public highway. Members of the public panicked and mistook this for tear gas being thrown at them", the report detailed.

The festivities for this public holiday took place as planned on Friday morning in the 10,000-capacity stadium, including a speech by William Ruto.

Celebrated on 20 October, "Heroes' Day" pays tribute in particular to the fighters who took part in the struggle for Kenya's independence, achieved in 1963.

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