34 dead after stampede at rap gig in Guinea

The tragedy happened after hundreds of people rushed to leave through a single exit on a beach

A stampede of hundreds of people rushing to leave a late-night rap gig on a beach in Guinea killed 34 people this week, according to reports.

The tragedy happened after 10,000 people gathered on Ratoma, a northern suburb of the capital Conakry, for a show to celebrate the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. It featured performances from Guinean rap groups Instinct Killers and Banlieuzart.

As the crowd rushed to leave through a single exit, witnesses said some people fell to the ground and were trampled to death, the BBC reports. Some of the victims were young children.

“There are currently 34 bodies in the morgue. The list of injured keeps growing,” a medical source at Donka hospital in the capital told Reuters. “The oldest among them can’t be more than 20. There are young girls among them,” he added.

President Alpha Conde declared a week of national mourning for what it called a “tragic drama” at the concert and promised a full investigation. The capital’s beaches also were ordered closed until further notice.

The authorities were “shocked by the tragic drama caused by mass movements at a cultural event,” said a statement from the president’s office. It added that the head of a government body for entertainment has also been sacked.

According to reports, this is not the first tragedy of its kind in Guinea. Last January, six people were killed on another beach of the Conakry suburb during a reggae concert.