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General News of Friday, 8 July 2016

Source: Class FM

'Asawase stampede not Eid-related'

The stampede that killed nine people in Asawase in Kumasi on Thursday dawn had little to do with the Eid ul-Fitr celebrations, Chairman of the Municipal Security Council for Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly, Alhaji Nurudeen Amidan, has said.

“It was not an Islamic gathering and has little to do with the entire Sallah festivities. It was a group of Kayayei [itinerant female porters] with a mixture of both Christian and Muslim individuals, who decided to call somebody from the north to perform,” he told the media on Friday July 8.

Alhaji Nurudeen Amidan explained that a full probe has begun into the accident, but noted that preliminary investigations show that the stampede began after a spark went off from the electricity meter system installed at the Asawase Community Centre. “When the music artiste [billed for the night] was leaving [after his performance], the electricity meter in the premises sparked, some of them misconstrued the noise to mean a gunshot and so they started agitating and rushed out of the premises, in the process the stampede happened”.

Following a resolution reached by the Council, the Assembly has also taken over the Community Centre to ensure it is properly managed. “The Assembly will take over the management of the centre so that we can get things properly done,” he stated.

He cautioned the public to stay away from the centre as the place “will be shut down to aid investigations and the work of the police. We are unable to tell for how long”.

Meanwhile, a mass burial was organised on Thursday July 7 for the deceased.

The nine comprised six females and three males with six others. Six survivors suffered serious injuries and are receiving treatment at the Manhyia hospital.

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