At least 17 killed in Angola stadium stampede

Police say at least 56 others have been injured in the incident which took place before a soccer match on Friday.

Picture: Google Earth

JOHANNESBURG - At least 17 people, including children, have been killed in a stampede at a stadium in northern Angola.

Police say at least 56 others have been injured in the incident which took place before a soccer match on Friday.

It’s understood hundreds of fans tried entering the already packed arena, which led to people being trampled on and suffocated.

Angola currently ranks 148 in Fifa world rankings.

Ernesto Luis, director general of the local hospital, said people had suffocated in the crush.

"Some people had to walk on top of other people. There were 76 casualties, of whom 17 died," he said. Five of the injured were in a serious condition.

Witnesses said the crowd trying to gain access would have taken the stadium past its 8,000 capacity.

"When we wanted to go in, we found a barrier. The first row of people fell down... I was in the third layer (of people)," said 37-year-old fan João Silva, who survived the crush with a broken foot.

Domingos Vika, 35, who broke a hand, added: "When they gave the opportunity for everyone to come in, we were all packed at the gate already."

The match between Santa Rita de Cássia and Libolo was part of Angola's first division championship.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)