At least nine people died in a shopping mall crush as revelers rang in the New Year in Uganda’s capital on Sunday, police said.
After fireworks outside the Freedom City mall in Kampala, “a stampede ensued, resulting in the instant deaths of five people and injuries to several others,” police spokesman Luke Owoyesigyire said.
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“Emergency responders arrived on the scene and transported the injured individuals to the hospital, where nine were confirmed dead.”
Owoyesigyire said “juveniles” were among the victims, without providing further details on their ages.
Owoyesigyire said the incident appeared to have occurred at midnight “when an event emcee encouraged attendees to go outside and watch a fireworks display.”
The Katwe Territorial Police are “investigating an incident of rash (behavior) and neglect,” according to an official statement.
No arrests have been made so far.
Police said five people died at the scene and four others died of their injuries at the hospital where they had been taken for treatment. There was no immediate information on other injured people.
The police said the bodies had been taken to the city mortuary in Mulago.
The shopping mall is a popular venue for music concerts and new year celebrations.
The celebrations to welcome in 2023 were the first in the east African country in three years, after restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and security issues.
Read more: At least 22 killed in two Uganda helicopter crashes: Congo army
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