A mass panic in a Tanzanian stadium in Dar es Salaam has killed 45 people as mourners paid their last respects to the late President John Magufuli, police said Tuesday. This means that the death toll is many times higher than was originally announced after the disaster on March 21. “Numerous people” wanted to take part in the ceremony, Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa told the AFP news agency on Tuesday. Some “impatient” people tried to make their way into the stadium and thus triggered the mass panic.
According to Mambosasas, several dozen people were injured in the accident. Shortly after the incident at Uhuru Stadium, only the deaths of one woman and four children were reported.
Magufuli had died two weeks ago. According to official information, the 61-year-old succumbed to a heart condition. The opposition, on the other hand, cited a corona infection as the cause of death.
On March 22nd, Magufuli was buried in a state funeral in the Tanzanian capital Dodoma. The previous weekend, his coffin had been laid out in the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, the economic center of the East African country. There tens of thousands of people said goodbye to the deceased head of state.
Magufuli has been at the head of Tanzania since 2015. Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as his successor. The 61-year-old is the first woman president of Tanzania.