Stampede Kills 31 During Congo Army Recruitment Drive

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At least thirty-one people have died in an overnight stampede during an army recruitment drive in a stadium in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, authorities said on Tuesday.

A prosecutor said he had opened an investigation into the disaster when several thousand youths descended on the Michel d’Ornano stadium on Monday night hoping for one of 1,500 army posts.

Security officials said the dead were left after people tried to push through one gate.

They said some tried to force the gate open while others tried to jump over a wall into the stadium.

The government revised down a toll of 37 dead to 31 but officials said many of the 145 injured were in serious condition.

A 24-year-old man, who declined to be named, told AFP how people were pushing to get through the gate, sparking a stampede. “There were people injured far worse than me,” said the survivor, who dislocated his foot.

Another survivor, who also requested anonymity, said: “There was a row of people in front of me. The people fell. I fell on top of them and other friends fell on top of us.”